Valneva’s chikungunya vaccine shows promising results in US

The Valvena team has already applied for approval of its vaccine in the US and Canada. It forecasts demand in the EU for the second half of the year.

A vaccine against chikungunya was developed by Valneva GroupEven though its actual effectiveness against the disease has yet to be proven, it has recorded promising results, according to a study published in the journal Tuesday. The Lancet.

This vaccination program produced “a robust immune response (…) in almost all vaccine participants,” concludes the study.

However, it was conducted in the United States, where the chikungunya virus is almost nonexistent, so it couldn’t show whether the vaccine actually prevents you from getting sick.

Chikungunya, a disease caused by a virus transmitted by the tiger mosquito, causes fever and severe joint pain. It is mainly in tropical regions, but some cases are starting to emerge in temperate countries like France, especially as a result of global warming.

The project by Valneva, a Franco-Austrian group specializing in vaccines, is to develop the first anti-chikungunya vaccine, while there is no preventive or curative treatment against the disease.

Lack of effectiveness in specific populations?

A study published on Tuesday found that of 266 vaccinated people, almost all (263) developed antibodies against the virus. He also measured the risk of side effects in a very large group of vaccinated patients (more than 3,000): only two developed effects were considered serious, and they completely recovered.

The vaccine works on the classical technique of attenuated virus, so it is “an excellent candidate for the prevention of chikungunya,” according to a study by researcher Martina Schneider.

A good immune response clearly means that the patient will avoid getting sick, to prove the real effectiveness of the vaccine, a study should be done in areas where the virus is more prevalent.

But the work is already “good news” in the fight against a potential chikungunya epidemic, hailed infectious disease expert Kathryn Stephenson, who was not involved in the study, in the same journal. The Lancet.

However, an epidemiologist cautions that the vaccine may not be effective in populations accustomed to the virus’s circulation. Indeed, these may have already generated immune responses that limit the activity of the attenuated virus based on Valneva’s vaccine.

Key ingredients

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