There Is An EEE Vaccine For Humans. You Just Can’t Get It

A horse leaves a barn at Willow Brook Farms in Holliston, MA. Last month, a horse here named Bruin contracted EEE and passed away. (Angus Chen/WBUR)

There’s no cure for Eastern equine encephalitis, or EEE, but there is a vaccine for the mosquito-borne illness. It’s just not commercially available.

The United States military developed it in the 1980s as part of a vaccine program to protect military personnel from dangerous pathogens, says Sam Telford, an epidemiologist at Tufts University.

“As a graduate student, I received that vaccine,” he says.

At the time, the military made it available to researchers who were studying the virus, but Telford says the Food and Drug Administration put a stop to that. “The FDA slapped the military for running essentially unregulated clinical trials,” he says.

Now, researchers must get the vaccine through an official clinical trial run by the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, or USAMRIID.

Read the rest of the story at WBUR’s website.