Why is it in the news?
- The world’s first vaccine for chikungunya was approved by the S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently.
More about the Vaccine Development
- Developed by Valneva, a European vaccine manufacturer, the vaccine is marketed under the brand name Ixchiq is administered as a single-dose injection into the muscle.
- It contains a live, weakened version of the chikungunya virus and may cause similar symptoms to the disease.
- It is approved for individuals aged 18 and older who are at increased risk of exposure to the chikungunya virus.
- The vaccine was granted approval through the Accelerated Approval pathway, which is used for products that address serious or life-threatening conditions based on evidence of effectiveness likely to provide clinical benefit.
· Chikungunya is a viral infection characterized by severe joint pain, fever, impaired mobility, and other symptoms.
· It is primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.
· Chikungunya is considered an emerging global health threat, prevalent in Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
· Since 2004, outbreaks of CHIKV have become more frequent and widespread due to viral adaptations.
· Symptoms include joint pain, swelling, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash.
· Severe symptoms and deaths are rare, but the disease is often misdiagnosed as dengue or Zika.
Significance of the Vaccine
- The FDA’s approval of the chikungunya vaccine addresses an unmet medical need and represents an important advancement in preventing this debilitating disease.
- The vaccine may help countries where chikungunya is more prevalent, such as Brazil, Paraguay, India (with a high number of suspected cases), and parts of western Africa.
- It is expected to have a positive impact on public health by reducing the risk and spread of chikungunya.