Japanese Encephalitis Virus

Japanese encephalitis virus

Vaccination eligibility

The Victorian and NSW governments have announced expanded eligibility criteria* for JE vaccination which is free and recommended for:

In Victoria, JE vaccine is available free-of-charge for people aged two months or older who live or routinely work in any of the following high-risk local government areas of Benalla, Buloke, Campaspe, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Greater Shepparton, Indigo, Loddon, Mildura, Moira, Swan Hill, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga AND:

  • regularly spend time engaging in outdoor activities that place them as risk of mosquito bites, OR
  • are experiencing homelessness, OR
  • are living in conditions with limited mosquito protection (e.g. tents, caravans, dwellings with no insect screens), OR
  • are engaging in outdoor flood recovery (clean-up) efforts, including repeated professional or volunteer deployments.*

*Vaccination can be administered before arrival in flood affected areas to those from other regions deployed for recovery efforts by arrangement.

The risk of exposure to mosquitoes is low at an elevation of greater than 500 metres. Therefore, JE vaccination is only recommended for individuals who spend significant time outdoors below this elevation in these LGAs.

No restriction to local government areas:

  • People who work at, reside at, or have a planned non-deferable visit to a:
    • piggery, including but not limited to farm workers and their families (including children aged 2 months and older) living at the piggery, transport workers, veterinarians and others involved in the care of pigs
    • property that has been confirmed to be infected with JE virus
    • property suspected to be infected with JE virus
    • pork abattoir or pork rendering plant.
  • Personnel who work directly with mosquitoes through their surveillance (field or laboratory based) or control and management, and indirectly through management of vertebrate mosquito-borne disease surveillance systems (e.g., sentinel animals) such as:
    • environmental health officers and workers (urban and remote)
    • entomologists
  • All diagnostic and research laboratory workers who may be exposed to the virus, such as persons working with JE virus cultures or mosquitoes with the potential to transmit JE virus; as per the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

*Please note that this may be subject to change based on surveillance information.

Click here to download an eligibility checklist (pdf).

Click here to download the Japanese encephalitis immunisation consent form (docx).

Click here to download the Japanese encephalitis frequently asked questions (pdf).

Vaccination providers

Providers of the vaccine in the Murray PHN region can be found here (last updated 22 March) and local public health units are also providing JEV vaccines. Please call ahead to ensure stock on hand.

Vaccination information and resources

  • General vaccine queries from GPs and the general public can be sent to immunisation@health.vic.gov.au
  • Local general practices can express their interest in delivering the vaccine by emailing gpsupport@murrayphn.org.au
  • Individuals that do not have a Medicare number will not be charged for the vaccine or serology if the VDRL form is used on the Department's website. General practices can however still charge patients for the consultation.
  • GP practices will no longer be able to order JEspect and Imojev via the online ordering platform. If GPs have a person who meets the criteria for use of JEspect then they must email immunisation@health.vic.gov.au to request supply. The factsheet and public websites will be changed to reflect this information.
  • If a general practice has ordered vaccines, experienced a cold chain breach or has any other questions in regards to the vaccine order they have already placed, the practice should contact orders@onelink.com.au
  • Vaccine order amounts - currently due to limited stock, there are ordering thresholds in place per order (maximum of 20 doses of Imojev and two doses of JEspect). Some general practices may require more than this in their initial order if they are vaccinating a large piggery or pork rendering facility. In this case, please place an order and email immunisation@health.vic.gov.au indicating how many extra doses required and the reason why. This will enable the department to increase the amount delivered and prevent the need for multiple deliveries to the same practice within days of each other.

Murray PHN resources

Other resources

 

Page last updated 2 May 2023.

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