Lyme Disease in the Limelight
Still, the suspicion may be enough for at least some patients. Although Lyme disease can be debilitating in its later stages, the early symptoms are reversible. And there is also the cost: For the vaccine to be about 80% effective, three shots are needed over the course of a year at about $50 per shot.
Figures are not available for how many people have had the vaccine. But those factors alone have even led some of the vaccine's developers to question its value. While the vaccine may be of some value in areas like the Northeast, it is really a personal decision whether to use this type of prevention elsewhere, they have noted in past interviews.
As for whether to have the vaccine, these experts also caution that Lyme disease can cause arthritis, heart irregularities, paralyzed facial muscles, and other disabilities in its later stages. These disabilities, they add, will most certainly occur if the disease goes undiagnosed or misdiagnosed as is often the case due to its wide range of symptoms.
Almost 12,000 cases of Lyme disease have been reported so far this year, bringing the national total to a little over 150,000 cases since 1980.