Local research site to be home to first children’s Lyme disease vaccine trial

PLEASANT HILLS, Pa. — A South Hills research site is where doctors will soon be conducting the first trial for a children’s Lyme disease vaccine.

“Even though it’s a tiny little thing you can barely see, that tick carries potentially a serious illness for a child,” said Dr. Shari Rosen, a physician at Preferred Primary Care.

Pennsylvania continues to lead the nation in Lyme disease cases.

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Rosen sat down exclusively with Channel 11. She’s one of the doctors helping Pfizer to develop a children’s vaccine that would protect against the tick-borne disease.

“As a parent, our main concern is to keep our children safe and healthy,” said Rosen.

The clinical trial starts next week at the Preferred Primary Care site in Pleasant Hills. It’s the first trial in Allegheny County and one of many nationwide that are all part of the same study.

A few months ago, Uniontown locations started testing the Lyme disease vaccine for adults. Rosen said that has shown favorable data so far and is now in the Phase 3 trial stage.

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“It’s part of the clinical trial where safety data has already been established and we are looking at larger numbers of people to prove efficacy,” said Rosen.

The Pleasant Hills site is looking to enroll 60 eligible local children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old, beginning next week.

The vaccine is three doses given over a five-to-nine month period, followed by a booster shot 12 months later. It targets the bacteria that causes Lyme disease.

Pfizer said it could potentially submit a vaccine application for approval to the Food and Drug Administration in 2025.

Any local families interested in enrolling their children in the Lyme disease vaccine trial should follow this link: https://www.valorlymestudy.com/.

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