Burlington, VT– The University of Vermont Medical Center is advancing research on a new Lyme Disease vaccine. Along with the hospital, the school’s Vaccine Testing Center was chosen to operate a worldwide study on the vaccine candidate.
Advancements in the fight against Lyme Disease, which currently has no approved vaccinations to prevent it in humans. The UVM Medical Center and UVM’s Larner College of Medicine’s Vaccine Testing Center will operate as the Phase 3 testing site.
The vaccine’s efficacy will be tested on numerous participants.
“It’s a phase 3 trial which means it’s already gone through several rounds of safety testing, and at this stage – this is a large multinational trial – not only with sites here in Vermont, but across the U.S. and in Europe,” says Dr. Benjamin Lee, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at UVM.
Dr. Lee says his team is excited to be the host of the important study, diving into questions of safety and effectiveness.
“This vaccine needs to be tested in areas with very high incidents of Lyme Disease,” says Dr. Lee. “I think all Vermonters and folks in Upstate New York and in this region recognize that Lyme Disease is a huge problem in this area.”
Pfizer is sponsoring the trial, known as the Vaccine Against Lyme for Outdoor Recreationists, or VALOR. Researchers hope to see if the vaccine can prevent people from getting Lyme Disease after being vaccinated.
The trial will require 30 months of participation, either receiving the vaccine or a placebo.
“We’re looking for relatively healthy individuals ages five and up, so this trial is open to children as well, who live in this region and have a reasonable amount of outdoor exposure which places them at risk for tick bites,” notes Dr. Lee.
He says the group is still looking for participants, especially in the pediatric age range. People can contact the study team here, or by calling 802 656-0013.