According to a recent Fox News article, the FDA has approved the first chikungunya vaccine, called Ixchiq, developed by Valneva. The vaccine is intended for people 18 and older who are at risk of exposure to the chikungunya virus, which is transmitted via mosquitos. Chikungunya is categorized as an "emerging global health threat," with at least five million cases reported in the past 15 years. The virus can cause severe and prolonged health issues, particularly in older adults and those with underlying medical conditions.
The single-dose Ixchiq vaccine contains a weakened form of the virus and has proven effective in clinical trials, with most participants developing protective antibody levels. While most people recover from chikungunya within a week, severe and long-lasting joint pain can occur in rare cases. The virus is primarily found in Africa, Southeast Asia, and parts of the Americas, with outbreaks documented in various regions since 2013. The vaccine is considered safe and effective but is not recommended for immunocompromised individuals.