Q: COVID. RSV. What other new vaccines are coming?

Infectious Diseases Vaccines

A: There are quite a few new vaccines coming – Lyme, group B strep, Epstein Barr, to name a few. Read on for more!

COVID vaccines were developed in record time, and the infectious disease community breathed a collective sigh of relief upon the approval and introduction of a new vaccine for RSV, which had eluded scientists for a long time. We’ve seen how much new information arises when a new vaccine emerges, and this can sometimes be confusing. The best defense is to try to find out as much as you can as early as you can. So here’s the lowdown on some new vaccines under investigation. Read on and send in your questions!

✅ Lyme

Pfizer and Valneva have a vaccine candidate for Lyme disease, VLA15, that’s currently in phase 3 clinical trials. It’s possible that this vaccine will be available next summer for tick season. Moderna also has 2 candidates in trials, although these are in an earlier stage of development. MassBiologics has also developed a monoclonal antibody, which should be familiar from COVID and now RSV too, which will start human trials soon.

✅ Group B Strep

Group B strep is a potentially fatal illness that newborns might be exposed to during delivery. It is a major cause of sepsis and meningitis among newborns up to 90 days old. A vaccine is being developed for pregnant people that would confer immunity to newborns. This vaccine candidate (GBS56) is being developed by Pfizer and is currently in phase 2 trials.

✅ Epstein Barr

Anyone who’s had mono is probably familiar with Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), which is the most common cause. This member of the herpes family of viruses is actually carried by about 95% of the world’s population. A 2022 study also suggested the possibility that EBV could be a cause of multiple sclerosis (MS). There’s also a possibility that EBV might be the cause of multiple autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease and celiac disease. A vaccine candidate conferred immunity to mice for 7 months. Up next: human trials.

Science is developing some new groundbreaking vaccines (go science!). We’ll be following the development of these and other new vaccines carefully and hope you will too! This is the best way to be ready to understand and discuss risks and benefits when new vaccines are released.

Stay safe, stay well, stay informed.

Those Nerdy Girls

Further Reading:

CDC update on the Lyme vaccine

NEJM study on group B strep candidate

Nature study on EBV vaccine candidate

Information about Moderna Lyme vaccine candidates

Study suggesting a link between EBV and MS

Study suggesting links between EBV and various autoimmune diseases

Past Nerdy Girls post on MS and EBV

Link to Original FB Post