Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination
Japanese Encephalitis Virus (JEV) is a disease which is spread to humans only through the bites of infected mosquitos. It cannot be transmitted from person to person.
Symptoms & complications of Japanese Encephalitis
The symptoms of JEV are largely asymptomatic – that is, most people will experience very minor to no symptoms.
Some people may experience:
In rare and more serious cases people can experience
- Neck stiffness
- Convulsions (especially in children)
Who is at risk of Japanese Encephalitis?
Vaccination against JEV is recommended for the following groups:
- Laboratory workers who may be exposed to Japanese Encephalitis
- Travellers spending more than one month in endemic areas (mainly Asia and Papa New Guinea) during JEV transmission season
- People who live or work in the outer islands of Torres Strait
How is Japanese Encephalitis treated?
Currently, there are no treatments to JEV – only rest, fluid intake and symptomatic treatment, such as paracetamol for fever.
How can I protect myself from Japanese Encephalitis?
There are two ways to prevent Japanese Encephalitis – the first is vaccination and the second is reducing the risk of mosquito bites.
The greatest risk of mosquito bites occurs in places with large bodies of relatively stagnant water, such as lakes, creeks, rives and dams. The risk of JEV transmission is also increased where infected animals such as water birds and pigs are present.
There are a lot of simple ways to help prevent being bitten by infected mosquitos:
- Applying and re-applying mosquito repellent DEET, Picaridin or Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus on exposed skin.
- Wearing long and loose-fitting clothing when outdoors as a physical barrier to bites.
- Use insecticide sprays, vapour-dispensing units (indoors) and mosquito coils (outdoors) to clear rooms and repel mosquitoes.
- Cover all windows, doors, vents and other entrances with insect screens in homes and when outside camping.
Who can get vaccinated at National Pharmacies?
The following outlines the following age ranges who can receive the JEV vaccine by a Pharmacist in each state:
In South Australia – people 5 years and older
In Victoria – people 5 years and older
In New South Wales – people 5 years and older
Currently there are two vaccinations for JEV available in Australia:
- Imojev (Sanofi) which is a single-dose, live attenuated virus vaccine which can be administered to patients 9 months and older
- JEspect (Seqirus) – two-dose inactivated vaccine which requires a 28-day interval between doses to patients 2 months and older
As Imojev is a live vaccine, people who are pregnant cannot receive this vaccine. It is also not advised for people who are breastfeeding due to insufficient data in whether it crosses into breastmilk.
Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination Pricing: Members from $134.90 per dose, Retail Price from $153.20 per dose.
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The Australian Immunisation Handbook. (n.d.). Japanese encephalitis. [online] Available at: https://immunisationhandbook.health.gov.au/contents/vaccine-preventable-diseases/japanese-encephalitis.