News Brief

World's First Chikungunya Vaccine Gets Green Light From US Drug Regulator

Nayan Dwivedi

Nov 10, 2023, 10:56 AM | Updated 10:56 AM IST

US health authorities have granted approval for the world's first chikungunya vaccine.
US health authorities have granted approval for the world's first chikungunya vaccine.

In a positive development, US health authorities have granted approval for the world's first chikungunya vaccine, Ixchiq, developed by Europe's Valneva.

The vaccine, aimed at individuals aged 18 and over at an increased risk of exposure, has been identified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a crucial step in combating the virus, which it labels as "an emerging global health threat", as reported by NDTV.

Chikungunya, transmitted by infected mosquitoes, induces symptoms such as fever and severe joint pain, with the virus predominantly affecting tropical and subtropical regions in Africa, southeast Asia, and parts of the Americas.

The FDA noted the virus's expanding geographical reach, reporting over 5 million cases in the past 15 years.

The vaccine's approval is anticipated to accelerate its deployment in areas with a high prevalence of the disease.

Administered in a single dose, Ixchiq employs a live, weakened version of the chikungunya virus, aligning with the standard approach for vaccine development.

Two clinical trials involving 3,500 participants in North America demonstrated common side effects such as headache, fatigue, muscle and joint pain, fever, and nausea.

While serious reactions were reported in 1.6 per cent of Ixchiq recipients during the trials, with two individuals requiring hospitalization.

The FDA hails this approval as a critical advancement in addressing an unmet medical need for a potentially debilitating disease with limited treatment options.

Nayan Dwivedi is Staff Writer at Swarajya.


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