3 To Know: Inflation comes off 40-year high but stays elevated, more

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Pfizer, French partner Valneva begin worldwide trials for first Lyme disease vaccine

1. Seeking vaccine against Lyme disease, Pfizer and French partner Valneva launch major trial

Pfizer and a French partner are launching a large clinical trial of an experimental vaccine that would be the only to prevent Lyme disease, the companies announced this week.

If proven safe and effective, the vaccine, currently called VLA15, could be an important tool to stop the tick-borne disease that affects nearly half a million Americans a year. Although many people clear the infection with a course of antibiotics, others suffer for years from lingering symptoms.

The first signs of a dangerous tick bite can include a bulls-eye rash, fatigue, fever, headache, muscle pain and a stiff neck. Without appropriate treatment, Lyme can cause arthritis, heart conditions and affect the nervous system. 

An earlier Lyme vaccine, LYMErix, was taken off the market in 2002 after concerns about its safety, never proven, drove down public interest and its manufacturer, GlaxoSmithKline, withdrew it.

The trial, with French company Valneva, will enroll about 6,000 volunteers, ages 5 and up at as many as 50 sites in a handful of countries where Lyme is a problem, including the United States. – Karen Weintraub/USA Today

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2. Inflation comes off 40-year high but stays elevated at 8.5% 

Inflation stayed elevated but eased from historically high levels in July, raising hopes that a relentless surge in prices may have peaked.

Consumer prices increased 8.5% from a year ago, down from a 9.1% annual rise – a 40-year high – in June, according to the Labor Department's Consumer Price Index. Gasoline prices fell but food and rent continued to march higher. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had estimated yearly inflation would fall to 8.7%.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices were unchanged, compared to a 1.3% rise in June. Core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy items and generally provide a better gauge of future price trends, increased 0.3% in July following a 0.7% rise the prior month. That held the annual increase at 5.9% after three straight monthly declines. – USA Today

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3. Kia recalls 260,000+ Optima sedans, warning ceiling plates can come loose if airbags deploy

Kia is recalling nearly 260,000 older midsize cars in the U.S. because plates in the ceiling can come loose if the side curtain air bags inflate in a crash.

File: Rows of new Kias sit on a lot at the Georgia Ports Authority Colonel’s Island terminal in Brunswick.

The recall covers certain 2012 and 2013 Optima sedans. The automaker says headliner pates on both sides of the cars may not be secured properly and could detach and hit drivers or passengers.

Kia says it has one report of a driver being hurt in a 2012 Optima.

Kia says in documents posted Tuesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that dealers will put industrial-grade tape over the plates to help secure them. Notification letters will be sent Sept. 26. – Associated Press

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