There is a vaccine available for Japanese encephalitis (JE) but it is not on the Australian Immunisation Schedule. JE vaccines are recommended for:
- routine vaccination of laboratory workers who may be exposed to JE virus
- routine vaccination of travellers spending 1 month or more in endemic areas during the JE virus transmission season
- routine vaccination of people who live or work on the outer islands of Torres Strait
Japanese encephalitis (JE) is caused by infection with the mosquito-borne JE virus. The disease mainly affects the central nervous system. JE is a significant public health problem in many parts of Asia, and occasional outbreaks have occurred in Torres Strait. About 30% of patients with JE die from the disease, and around 50% of people who survive suffer permanent neurological disability.
JE vaccination is recommended for residents of the outer islands in Torres Strait and non-residents who will be living or working on the outer islands of Torres Strait for 30 days or more during the wet season.
People who are at ongoing risk of acquiring JE may need booster doses.
(Text adapted from the Australian Immunisation Handbook)
For more information about JE and the vaccine available please see here.
Page reviewed November 2018.