Moderna Vs. Pfizer: COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness

Findings of a recent study, Comparison of two highly-effective mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 during periods of Alpha and Delta variant prevalence, show that Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine appears to have a higher effectiveness rate compared with the Pfizer vaccine. This observational study was conducted from a Minnesota patient cohort in July 2021. Both vaccines appeared to be highly protective (Moderna 86%, Pfizer 76%) from January to July 2021, which was the period of time when the Delta variant first became predominant. However, the researchers observed the rates of protection for both vaccines dropped during the month of July 2021, and that the Moderna vaccine maintained higher protection than Pfizer (Moderna 76%, Pfizer 42%). 

Investigators of this observational study conclude that further evaluation of the mechanisms of the two vaccines are warranted to understand the difference in protectiveness.

Read the Medpage news article here

Read more LDA articles on COVID here

Read the full text MedRxiv observational study article here

Note: This article is a preprint and has not been peer-reviewed [what does this mean?]. It reports new medical research that has yet to be evaluated and so should not be used to guide clinical practice.


Prominent Researchers: The State of Lyme Disease: Progress & Challenges

Top Lyme disease researchers from across the United States have collaborated on a new publication, Recent Progress in Lyme Disease and Remaining Challenges. In this review article, researchers summarize the state of Lyme over the past 5 years, addressing major scientific advances as well as identifying remaining challenges and needs. Topics covered in the publication include diagnosis, testing, signs and symptoms of disease, treatment, genomics, vector transmission, pathogenesis, persistence of disease, and prevention and funding. The long-term impact of Lyme disease on patients has historically been controversial, however the authors present escalating evidence that supports the idea that a great number of patients experience persistent symptoms following treatment, and that this number continues to grow. 

Necessary funding to support advancement in the scientific and clinical understanding of the disease, or to develop and evaluate innovative approaches for prevention, diagnosis, and treatment has been greatly lacking in the research community, and authors highlight the urgent need for more support. Although Lyme disease is a growing public health concern globally, this review article focuses primarily on the condition and resources of the United States.

Read the full review article here

Read more LDA articles here

Borrelia mayonii Spirochetes Observed on Blood Smear

B. mayonii is a relatively new species of Lyme causing pathogen that has only been detected in the Upper Midwest of the United States. It is considered a rare cause of Lyme disease and may frequently go undetected. 

Mayo laboratories recently observed that spirochetes of the pathogen Borrelia mayonii can occasionally be visualized on routine blood smears, much like spirochetes of the Tick-Borne Relapsing Fever group. B. mayonii spirochetes are found at high levels in peripheral blood, whereas B. burgdorferi spirochetes are not. This understanding may raise awareness and recognition of the Lyme disease causing bacterium, and could lead to more consistent and accurate diagnosis of this cause of Lyme disease.

Read full article here

Read more LDA articles on Lyme disease here



2021 Advocate Scholarship Application

Lyme & Other Tick-Borne Diseases: Research for Cure

Who is eligible to apply–By Invitation Only

LDA has a limited number of scholarships to offer for the Lyme Disease Association (LDA)-Columbia University Lyme & Other TBD virtual conference on October 2, 2021.  You have been sent a link to this page because your name has been suggested to LDA as a possible scholarship recipient based on your Lyme disease education work and financial need.  You are not permitted to share this link with anyone else or you may lose your eligibility to be considered for a scholarship.

If you do not require financial assistance to attend, please do not apply for this opportunity, just go onto the website and register, as that opens up the scholarship monies for others in need. Thank you. 

What is the scholarship for

To enable participation in the LDA/Columbia CME Conference  “Lyme Disease Association’s 21st annual  Lyme & Other Tick-Borne Diseases Scientific Conference”  (October 2,2021  Virtual)   

Why is this scholarship being provided

Our goal is to disseminate knowledge obtained from the conference to as many people as possible.  Such knowledge stimulates novel research ideas, forges collaborations, and enhances clinical care.


LDA must receive the application from you by Sept. 7, 2021 to be considered for a scholarship. Applicants will be considered on a first come first serve basis until the funds are depleted.

How will the scholarships be awarded

Scholarships will be awarded at the sole discretion of the Lyme Disease Association, Inc. (LDA). If the information you provided is found subsequently to be untrue, you will be required to reimburse the LDA for the full cost of the scholarship award.

How will the scholarship will be administered

The LDA will notify you of its decision.  If you are accepted, detailed instructions will be sent to you.  You will need to pay for registration and then will be reimbursed  for non-CME registration cost. Reimbursement policies will be sent to you at the time of acceptance.

Total of scholarship will only cover cost for non-CME registration for the virtual conference.

How to Apply

The online application form below must be received by Sept. 7, 2021 (12M ET). Questions email LDA@LymeDiseaseAssociation.org

2021 Virtual Conference Advocate Scholarship Application

  • e.g. Officer, trustee, Board of Director, member
  • Website, Facebook or twitter url's
  • Download the W-9 form here.
  • Max. file size: 32 MB.

This activity is supported by independent educational grants from:

Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation


2019 Scientific Conference Jointly Provided by


T-Cell Exhaustion: Penn Med Investigation

In a recent press release, researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that T-cells, which are important fighters in the immune system, not only become “exhausted” from fighting cancer or viral infections, but they remain “exhausted” many weeks after these exposures. According to the press release, “exhaustion” leaves durable “epigenetic scars” in T cells that restrict their ability to support immune responses. T-cell function is critical to the immune system, especially in prolonged battles against cancers and viral infections. The findings of Penn researchers study lead to a need to discover how to reverse the “epigenetic scarring” that occurs in order to rejuvenate T-cell function after exposure to cancer and viral infections.

The findings of this study are published in Nature Immunology

Read the full press release here

Read more LDA articles on Immune Function here

Register Now Early Bird! LDA-Columbia Lyme Conference

Tick Testing & Identification

Tick testing-ticks in airtight containerThere are places where the public can have tick testing conducted and/or identified to see if they contain the Lyme bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, and/or other disease organisms that can infect humans or pets. There are generally charges for these services.

LDA does not make recommendations:

  • whether you should have ticks tested
  • about specific testing or identification facilities
  • about the reliability of tick testing
  • whether you should wait for the results before seeking/getting treatment
  • whether you should base your treatment on your tick testing results

*Above items are decisions that need to be made by you after reviewing material on the topic and discussing the benefits/risks with a professional.

Save tick alive if possible. Do NOT put in tape. Place in airtight container or zip lock bag. Check with the labs for proper packaging and mailing of the ticks, the types of organisms tested for and the associated costs.

Tick-testing lab examples from Lyme Disease Association’s LymeR Primer brochure

IGeneX Labs- Click Here

MDL- Click Here

NJ Labs- Click Here

Clongen Laboratories- Click Here 

Additional Tick Identification and Testing Laboratories

Nationwide Services
APHC-Army Public Health Center (For Department of Defense personnel and their dependents ONLY)- Click Here
Connecticut Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Lab- Click Here 
Cornell University- Click Here 
TickCheck- Click Here 
Ticknology- Click Here 
Tick Report-Click Here   
Tick Research Lab of Pennsylvania (FREE Identification, Testing for fee)- Click Here 

Additional Tick Identification and/or Testing Laboratories

Specific State Resident Services

Connecticut Residents:
Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station- Click Here 

Maine Residents:
University of Maine Cooperative Extension:Tick Lab- Click Here 
New York Residents:
Thangamani Lab-SUNY Upstate Medical University (FREE)- Click Here 

Tick Identification Services Only*

Tick Encounter- Click Here 
TickTracker (Tracking & Reporting App)- Click Here 
Specific State Resident Services


Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (FREE for Colorado Veterinarians)- Click Here 
Illinois: Illinois Department of Health working with University of Illinois- Click Here
Maryland Department of Health/University of Maryland- Click Here
Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (FREE for Michigan Residents)- Click Here 
Midwest (Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin):
Midwest Center of Excellence @UW-Madison(FREE for Midwest Residents)- Click Here 

New Jersey:
Monmouth County (NJ) Mosquito Control Division (Monmouth County Residents ONLY)- Click Here

New Hampshire:
New Hampshire (FREE for New Hampshire Residents)- Click Here

Vermont (FREE for Vermont Residents)- Click Here 

*As services may change, check with your own State or County health department on what services they may provide.

Search State Health Departments The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provides a list of all State and Territorial Health Department Websites here.

COVID in White-tailed Deer?

In a recent study conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) serum samples were analyzed from free-ranging white-tailed deer for SARS-CoV-2 antibodies.
Researchers found that a cohort of white-tailed deer populations from Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Pennsylvania were exposed to SARS-CoV-2. The USDA-APHIS has published an informational brief that addresses both questions and answers regarding these findings. USDA-APHIS also expresses the need for more research on the significance of the finding of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in free-ranging white-tailed deer,  as well as what, if any, potential impacts this may have on overall deer populations, other wildlife species, and humans.

Read the full publication here

Read more LDA Articles on COVID here

Ehrlichiosis Infection Following Organ Donation

In a recent article, investigators describe multiple cases of organ transplant derived Ehrlichiosis infections in donor recipients. Two cases of ehrlichiosis were reported to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for investigation in 2020. These two kidney recipients from a common donor developed fatal ehrlichiosis-induced hemophagocytic lymphocytic histiocytosis (HLH). Additionally, two kidney recipients and a liver recipient from another common donor developed ehrlichiosis, and  were all treated successfully. Investigators suggest that donor-derived ehrlichiosis should be considered by clinicians when evaluating recipients with fever early after transplantation after more common causes are ruled out, and cases that are suspected for Ehrlichiosis should be reported to the organ procurement organization (OPO) and the OPTN for further investigation.

Access to full article here.

Read more LDA articles on Ehrlichiosis here.

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