Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Children's Vaccines Health Center

Font Size

Lyme Disease Vaccine Protects Kids From Tick-Borne Illness

WebMD Health News

May 15, 2000 (Boston) -- It's tick season, and that nasty little bug is out to get your kids. But researchers announced some encouraging news Monday in the fight against Lyme disease. For the first time, a vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in protecting children 4-18 years of age from Lyme disease, a serious bacterial infection that may cause lifelong arthritis and a certain type of heart disease known as carditis.

This encouraging news was presented here at a joint meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies and The American Academy of Pediatrics.

The disease, discovered in 1975, is caused by bites from deer ticks found mainly in the Northeast, Midwest, and coastal regions of the U.S., particularly in grassy or wooded areas.

Although anyone living in areas populated by deer ticks is susceptible to Lyme disease, vaccines have only been tested and approved for use in persons over age 15.

Called LYMErix, the agent may soon be administered by injection in the doctor's office to children 4 years of age and older. If approved by the FDA, the vaccine could protect thousands of young children whose only safeguards right now are insect repellent and protective measures.

Neal A. Halsey, MD, from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health in Baltimore, and colleagues administered three doses of the Lyme disease vaccine to more than 3,000 study participants (4-18 years of age) but found that just two doses offered effective protection.

Halsey and his team found only short-lived, minor side effects with the vaccine, including fever, fatigue, headache, and joint pain.

Ram Yogev, MD, tells WebMD that two doses is all children need to be protected. "We would save a lot of money and pain for the kids with two [doses] -- two would be effective," says Yogev, who is professor of pediatrics at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

In 1999, more than 1 million doses of LYMErix were distributed to persons ages 15-70 with no adverse side effects. The FDA will review the Lyme disease vaccine and the results of this study over the next several months to determine if the vaccine will be approved for use in children 4 years of age and older.

Today on WebMD

Baby getting vaccinated
Is there a link? Get the facts.
syringes and graph illustration
Get a customized vaccine schedule.
baby getting a vaccine
Know the benefits and the risk
nurse holding syringe in front of girl
Should your child have it?

What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids

Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
gloved hand holding syringe
infant receiving injection

WebMD Special Sections