The first vaccine to guard against chikungunya virus-related illness has been approved, the US Food and Drug Administration announced on Thursday.
For adults who are more likely to contract the virus, Valneva Austria GmbH’s single-dose vaccine Ixchiq is authorized. Fast track and breakthrough therapy designations were given to Ixchiq.
A mosquito-borne illness that can be crippling or even fatal for newborns, chikungunya (meaning “bending over in pain” in the Makonde dialect of Africa) has no known cure.
Despite the fact that deaths and serious illness are uncommon, the World Health Organization reports that there have been at least 5 million cases in the previous 15 years, making it an emerging concern for global health made worse by climate change.
Symptoms of Chikungunya
Based on the FDA, the most typical signs of chikungunya are fever and excruciating joint pain that can last for months or even years. Rashes, headaches, and muscle aches are some additional symptoms.
The FDA further stated that newborns born to pregnant women are at risk of serious and even fatal complications from the chikungunya virus. In order to manage pain and fever, doctors advise infected individuals to rest, stay hydrated, and take over-the-counter medications.
Currently, the illness can be treated for chikungunya infections with a single injection into the muscle.
According to officials, the vaccine contains a live, weakened strain of the virus that could cause symptoms resembling those of the illness.
Ixchiq Side Effects
Officials stated that headache, fatigue, joint and muscle pain, fever, nausea, and injection site tenderness were the most frequently reported adverse effects of the Ixchiq vaccine.
Per experts, severe reactions similar to chikungunya that interfere with day-to-day activities are rare; only 1.6% of vaccine recipients and none of the placebo recipients needed medical assistance.
In response to the FDA, the Ixchiq vaccine was assessed in two clinical trials conducted in North America.
Approximately 3,500 participants, who were at least 18 years old, were given a dose of the medication, while approximately 1,000 participants received a placebo.