There's a vaccine for pooches, but not for people

They're back — ticks, some of them carriers of Lyme disease.

"There's a big exposure, especially in this area where we have many parks and we know there are ticks around," said Dr. Katrina Thornton from the Penfield Veterinary Hospital.

But when it comes to protection, your dog is better off than you.

"There has been a Lyme vaccine out for a few years for dogs." Thornton said.

But the one for humans? That's no longer available.

So why is there a vaccine for dogs but not humans?

"That question, I get a lot from owners too," Thornton said. "I know there was a vaccine that was for people and it came off the market in 2002. It was called Lymerix and there are several reasons why it's no longer around; mainly there was a lack of demand."

One of the big issues, Thornton said, was that ome people claimed the vaccine gave them ill effects, even though clinical trials did not show that. Lawyers were even looking at filing class action lawsuits so the drug maker, SmithKline, pulled it.

As for your pup, Thornton says the vaccine for dogs isn't perfect, but she's certain it's keeping many dogs healthy.

"No vaccine is 100 percent affective, but the one we have now is highly more effective than the ones that were out previously," she said.
A French biotech company, Valneva, is looking to get a Lyme vaccine back on the market. Valneva is currently in the early stages of getting it approved through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. There's no word on when it could be available.