“Lyme disease is the only infection I know of where we have a safe and effective vaccine, but it’s not available to the public,” says Dr. Allen Steere, the physician who uncovered the disease, as part of a special week-long series on  wbur, in Boston.  Say what??!

Yet, anyone can bring their dog to the vet for the vaccine. Borrelia, did you hear that?! That’s it! I’m getting us an appointment with a vet. W-O-O-F, W-O-O-F. I want my vaccine! If lyme can be prevented, why wouldn’t we want to prevent what has turned instead into an epidemic? And for those currently with lyme disease, why would anyone want to go through years of treatment (hard on the body not to mention the wallet), only to step outdoors the day they are proclaimed lyme or symptom free…and get infected by another tick?  We are supposed to be okay with just saying oh well, here I am with the disease again and start over!?  After years of struggling and treatment? And why, Borrelia,  wouldn’t I want to have my family vaccinated to protect them from you? Okay, maybe the vaccine only applies to kids ages 14 or 15 and older, but I’ll take it. Why is our society protecting YOU and not ME or MY FAMILY? We’ll vaccinate pets, but we won’t vaccinate people. No offense to the Boston Terrier below, but that just doesn’t seem fair, Borrelia.

Boston Terrier Dog

Boston Terrier Dog (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One vaccine was introduced in 1998, do you remember that, B? But some  taking the vaccine allegedly experienced arthritis, a common symptom of lyme disease. So all of a sudden class action lawsuits start flying around and the vaccine is pulled. And why wouldn’t other pharmaceutical companies be deterred after that? People can sometimes  get chickenpox from the chicken pox vaccine. Yet we still vaccinate for chickenpox. Then there’s the controversy over MMR vaccines and the link to autism. Yet we still vaccinate for MMR. However people are so opinionated about YOUR vaccine, Borrelia, that the court of public opinion takes rank over protecting from infectious disease?? The FDA and CDC never agreed with the assessment that your vaccine was a danger, Borrelia. Yet the damage to its reputation had already been done and it could no longer be commercialized. Pharmaceutical companies withdrew them from the market and suspended development and some scientists who were proponents of the vaccine had to go into hiding.

As stated by Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccinologist at the Mayo Clinic, in the wbur series, “So we know scientifically how to develop a vaccine that would protect against all this human misery.  And yet, for these societal and cultural reasons, not scientific reasons, that will not be done in the foreseeable future in the U.S.”

Maybe I should start eating Alpo, Borrelia.

Audio clip from wbur series: