Commission authorises Chikungunya vaccine and funds new mosquito eradication programme

The Commission has authorised the first-ever vaccine against Chikungunya virus – a disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.

While Chikungunya is not endemic in the EU, the effects of climate change have led to an increased presence of mosquitoes that transmit serious diseases in Europe. A recent report by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) confirmed the presence of the Aedes albopictus mosquito in 13 EU/EEA countries and the Aedes aegypti mosquito in Cyprus, which can contribute to the spread of Chikungunya, Zika, dengue and yellow fever.

The EU authorisation of the Chikungunya vaccine is intended for adults over 18 years of age. It was unanimously endorsed by Member States following a stringent assessment by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). It is up to national authorities in each Member State to decide who will have access to the vaccine, taking into account the national situation and risk status.

In addition, to further curb the risk of mosquito-borne diseases spreading in Europe, the Commission has announced €500,000 in funding from the EU4Health programme towards a pilot project to help eradicate the Aedes aegypti mosquito in Cyprus – currently the only EU country where this mosquito is found.

The eradication programme will use the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT), through which male mosquitoes are sterilised with low-dose radiation. This has proven to be an effective method for vector control, especially in areas where invasive mosquito species have been recently introduced. The programme, which is being carried out with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), will also support other Member States considering this vector control technique to reduce public health risks.

These actions are part of the EU’s ‘One Health’ approach to address vector-borne infectious diseases, recognising the link between human, plant, and environmental health.

For more information

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

European Medicines Energy (EMA)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

EU4Health programme

Source: European Commission | Press corner (