On November 10, 2023, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first vaccine for the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus. The vaccine, called Ixchiq, is a single-dose shot that is given to people 18 years and older who are at increased risk of exposure to the virus.
“This is a major breakthrough in the fight against chikungunya,” said Dr. Peter Marks, Director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “Chikungunya can cause severe and debilitating joint pain, especially for older adults and people with underlying medical conditions. This vaccine has the potential to protect millions of people from this debilitating disease.”
Ixchiq was developed by Valneva Austria GmbH and was approved under the FDA’s Accelerated Approval Program, which is designed to expedite the development and approval of new treatments for serious or life-threatening diseases. The vaccine was evaluated in two clinical trials involving over 3,500 adults. In these trials, Ixchiq was shown to be safe and effective in preventing chikungunya infection.
The most common side effects of Ixchiq were headache, fatigue, muscle pain, joint pain, fever, nausea, and tenderness at the injection site. These side effects were generally mild and went away on their own within a few days.
The FDA has approved Ixchiq for use in people who are at increased risk of exposure to the chikungunya virus, including:
- People who live in or travel to areas where chikungunya is common
- People who work outdoors or in other settings where they are exposed to mosquitoes
- People with chronic health conditions, such as diabetes or heart disease, that make them more susceptible to complications from chikungunya
Bite Back Tick and Mosquito Control is excited about the FDA approval of Ixchiq. This vaccine represents a significant step forward in the fight against chikungunya, and we hope that it will be widely available to people who need it most.
How to protect yourself from mosquito bites
In addition to getting vaccinated, there are other things you can do to protect yourself from mosquito bites and chikungunya infection:
- Use insect repellent containing Essential oils, or oil of lemon eucalyptus when you are outdoors.
- Wear long sleeves and pants when you are outdoors, especially during dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active.
- Avoid standing water around your home and yard, as mosquitoes breed in stagnant water.
- Repair or replace screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of your home.
By taking these steps, you can help protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquito bites and chikungunya infection.