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January 12, 2000

Lyme Disease Vaccine

Author Affiliations

Phil B.FontanarosaMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorMargaret A.WinkerMD, Deputy EditorIndividualAuthorStephen J.LurieMD, PhD, Fishbein FellowIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 2000;283(2):199-200. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-283-2-jbk0112

To the Editor: In the Medical News & Perspectives article by Dr Jefferson,1 several statements about the Lyme disease vaccine, require clarification to avoid misrepresenting the efficacy and safety of the vaccine.

Jefferson noted that " . . . vaccine is not the first-line prevention for Lyme disease; prevention of tick bites is much more important." While personal protective measures have been advocated as the cornerstone of Lyme disease prevention, the incidence of Lyme disease continues to increase. Hayes et al2 suggest that either this intervention is not effective or that too few individuals are engaged consistently enough for the intervention to be effective. Several studies have failed to show that personal protective measures (eg, tucking pants into socks, checking for ticks) have a statistically significant effect in preventing Lyme disease.2-4 Vaccination with the Lyme disease vaccine is the only method proven clinically and statistically to prevent Lyme disease in a large, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.5