US well being authorities on Thursday authorized the world’s first vaccine for chikungunya, a virus unfold by contaminated mosquitoes that the Meals and Drug Administration referred to as “an rising world well being risk.”
The vaccine, developed by Europe’s Valneva which shall be marketed underneath the identify Ixchiq, was authorized for individuals 18 and over who’re at elevated danger of publicity, the FDA mentioned.
Ixchiq’s green-light by the US drug regulator is anticipated to hurry the vaccine’s rollout in nations the place the virus is most prevalent.
Chikungunya, which causes fever and extreme joint ache, is usually seen in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa, southeast Asia and elements of the Americas.
“Nonetheless, chikungunya virus has unfold to new geographical areas inflicting an increase in world prevalence of the illness,” the FDA mentioned, reporting greater than 5 million circumstances up to now 15 years.
“An infection with chikungunya virus can result in severe disease and extended well being issues, notably for older adults and people with underlying medical situations,” senior FDA official Peter Marks mentioned in an announcement.
“As we speak’s approval addresses an unmet medical want and is a crucial development within the prevention of a probably debilitating illness with restricted remedy choices.”
Signs can generally final for months and even years, however the virus is never deadly. There’s presently no particular drug to deal with chikungunya, other than widespread medicines for ache and fever reduction.
Within the absence of preventative remedy, till now the one method to defend towards an infection was to keep away from getting bitten.
The vaccine is injected in a single dose and incorporates a reside, weakened model of the chikungunya virus, as is commonplace with different vaccines.
Two clinical trials had been carried out in North America on 3,500 individuals. Headache, fatigue, muscle and joint ache, fever and nausea had been generally reported unwanted side effects.
Critical reactions had been reported in 1.6 p.c of Ixchiq recipients within the trials, with two requiring hospitalization.
Some vaccine recipients had chikungunya-like opposed reactions that lasted for 30 days or extra.
Chikungunya will be handed from a pregnant particular person to their unborn baby, and the virus will be deadly to newborns.
The FDA in its assertion famous it was not identified whether or not the vaccine virus will be transmitted from mom to a child in utero, nor if the vaccine may cause opposed results in newborns.
Since chikungunya was first recognized in Tanzania in 1952, it has been recorded in additional than 110 nations, in accordance with the World Well being Group.
Public well being specialists have expressed considerations that chikungunya may very well be a possible future pandemic risk as climate change pushes the mosquitoes that unfold it into new areas.
An utility for authorization has additionally been filed by Valneva with the European Medicines Company (EMA).
© 2023 AFP
US approves first vaccine towards chikungunya virus (2023, November 10)
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