(BPT) - While mild temperatures continue to sweep the nation well into October, city dwellers and communities across New England continue to spend days and nights outdoors. Increasingly, it is also the season for Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that afflicts an estimated 476,000 people in the U.S. Children aged 5-14 years old have historically represented the largest share of confirmed cases, according to CDC data.
What’s Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is a common illness caused by a bacteria found in deer ticks. Bites from infected ticks can transfer the bacteria to humans and cause rashes, fever, and fatigue. If left untreated, Lyme disease can progress to cause severe, sometimes permanent symptoms. Yet, for more than two decades there has not been a vaccine available to communities and people living in areas with high Lyme disease infections caused by ticks.
Now, doctors and experts are working countless hours to study a possible vaccine that would help protect against Lyme disease in both children and adults. A recently launched late-stage vaccine study led by Pfizer and its partner, Valneva, is underway and enrolling participants.
Enrolling and Participating in a Clinical Study for A Potential Lyme Disease Vaccine
Getting new medicines and preventative care options into the hands of patients depends on clinical research. Clinical trials are necessary in the discovery of new medical breakthroughs that can potentially impact thousands of lives. Under rigorous oversight by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, these studies evaluate if a vaccine is safe and effective to use. Care Access and Pfizer have partnered in a cutting-edge collaboration to bring clinical research for a novel Lyme vaccine to regions of the United States with the highest risks for Lyme disease with the Vaccine Against Lyme for Outdoor Recreationists (VALOR) study.
The VALOR research study is evaluating if an investigational (study) vaccine is safe and effective for preventing Lyme disease in people who have been exposed through tick bites.
Healthy adults and children over the age of 5 who live in or often visit outdoor areas that may expose them to ticks may be eligible to participate.
New Community-Centric Approach
Lyme Disease is most prevalent in regions where, traditionally, there have been no research clinics, including small towns, suburbs, and rural areas. To reach communities in those regions, Care Access is mobilizing all the resources that make up a research clinic and taking it to meet participants in their own communities. With a fleet of state-of-the-art mobile units that can go anywhere, anytime, Care Access can rapidly set up a custom research clinic at a location that works best for the community.
Care Access has deployed this model to reach thousands of families in communities with high risks for Lyme disease. The capabilities required to help make this happen involve using state-of-the-art technology and data platforms combined with centralized clinical oversight, traveling research personnel, and movable infrastructure and equipment. Many more people at high risk for Lyme disease have the opportunity to take part in this clinical research effort thanks to this approach.
“Clinical trials provide new hope for suffering patients and their loved ones, yet the traditional research model was built in a pre-internet, pre-smartphone, pre-next-day-delivery world which does not match up to the world we live in today. To truly accelerate the future of medicine, we need to go beyond clinical trials that disrupt patients’ lives and focus on disrupting the limitations of the model itself,” said Ahmad Namvargolian, CEO and Co-Founder, Care Access. “Pfizer has taken a monumental step forward to embrace the future of clinical research.”
For more information, to find a location nearest you and to get involved in this Lyme Disease study, visit HelpStopLyme.com, or call 877-565-5112. For more information about how Care Access is helping accelerate the future of medicine, visit careaccess.com/sponsors.