Seamus Naughton Mergner started running a fever one day when he was 3 years old, and he also complained of a stiff neck. His mother, recalling that she had recently removed a tick from his skin, feared that the eight-legged bug had infected the boy with Lyme disease. The doctor said she was right — and to her relief, Seamus soon recovered after being treated with antibiotics.
But four years later, wary of the tick-laden woods and tall grasses near their central New Jersey home, Taylor Naughton signed up her son for a potential safeguard against another infection. In April, he was injected with the first of four doses in a trial of a vaccine. That vaccine is being developed by the French biotech firm Valneva and U.S.-based Pfizer, using a traditional protein-based approach that’s been used in other vaccines for decades. If all goes well, physicians predict it could be available to the public within several years. To read the full story.