If You’ve Ever Had Lyme Disease, Blame the Anti-Vaxxers

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Lyme disease has been spreading for years, and thanks to global warming it’s poised to explode over the next few years. This map is from New Scientist:

That’s bad. But it turns out there’s a vaccine for Lyme disease. Or I guess I should say, there used to be a vaccine for Lyme disease. In 1998 the FDA approved a a drug called Lymerix, and it was pretty effective until the chronic Lyme crowd and the anti-vaxxers started ranting:

Influenced by now-discredited research purporting to show a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, activists raised the question of whether the Lyme disease vaccine could cause arthritis. Media coverage and the anti-Lyme-vaccination groups gave a voice to those who believed their pain was due to the vaccine, and public support for the vaccine declined.

“The chronic arthritis was not associated with Lyme,” says Stanley Plotkin, an adviser to pharmaceutical company Sanofi Pasteur. “When you’re dealing with adults, all kinds of things happen to them. They get arthritis, they get strokes, heart attacks. So unless you have a control group, you’re in la-la land.”

But there was a control group – the rest of the US population. And when the FDA reviewed the vaccine’s adverse event reports in a retrospective study, they found only 905 reports for 1.4 million doses. Still, the damage was done, and the vaccine was benched.

All of you who have had Lyme disease should know this. You could have avoided it if not for the ravings of the anti-vax nitwits and the gullibility of the mainstream TV talkers who give them a platform. It’s long past time to put an end to this idiocy.

But I won’t leave you without some good news. First, although you can’t vaccinate yourself, you can vaccinate your dog. So there’s that. Second, a French company has developed an even better Lyme vaccination, and it should be ready in 2023. That’s a mere six years. Just be patient, OK?

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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