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Key Features of Ixchiq Vaccine


The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States recently granted approval for Ixchiq, the world’s first vaccine for chikungunya. Developed by the European vaccine manufacturer Valneva, this novel vaccine represents a crucial advancement in addressing the chikungunya virus (CHIKV).


GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Key Features of Ixchiq Vaccine
  2. About Chikungunya

Key Features of Ixchiq Vaccine

  • Single Dose Administration: Administered as a single dose via injection into the muscle.
  • Chikungunya Virus Content: Contains a live, weakened version of the chikungunya virus.
  • Symptom Induction: The live virus in the vaccine may potentially cause symptoms similar to the chikungunya disease in vaccine recipients.
  • Age Criteria: Approved for administration in individuals aged 18 years or older.
  • Target Population: Intended for people at increased risk of exposure to the chikungunya virus.

About Chikungunya:

  • Transmission: Chikungunya is a viral disease that is primarily transmitted to humans through the bites of infected mosquitoes, specifically the Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti and Aedes (Stegomyia) albopictus species. These mosquitoes can also transmit other viruses like dengue and Zika.
  • Origin of the Name: The term “chikungunya” originates from the Makonde language spoken in East Africa, and it translates to “bent over in pain,” describing the characteristic joint pain associated with the disease.
  • Global Spread: The first outbreak of chikungunya was documented in southern Tanzania in 1952. Since then, the disease has been identified in nearly 40 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and the Americas.
  • Incubation Period: After being bitten by an infected mosquito, symptoms of chikungunya typically appear within 4 to 8 days. However, the incubation period can range from 2 to 12 days.
  • Common Symptoms: The most common symptom of chikungunya is the sudden onset of fever, often accompanied by severe joint pain. Other common symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash.
  • Complications: While serious complications are rare, severe cases of chikungunya can occur, leading to long-term joint pain and even death, especially in older individuals.
  • Treatment: Currently, there is no approved vaccine or specific antiviral treatment for chikungunya. The primary focus of treatment is on relieving symptoms through rest, adequate hydration, and the use of pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023