There are two safe and effective vaccines for JE:

  • Imojev: Live attenuated vaccine given by subcutaneous injection. Primary course is one dose. Registered for use in people aged ≥9 months.
  • JEspect: Inactivated Japanese encephalitis vaccine given by intramuscular injection. Primary course is two doses. Available for use in infants and children aged ≥2 months, immunocompromised people, and pregnant women.

For more information, see the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Last updated: 14 September 2022

The Communicable Diseases Network of Australia (CDNA) recommends the following groups should receive the JE vaccine:

  • 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 (including veterinary students and nurses) and others involved in the care of pigs.
    • 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 JEV cultures or mosquitoes with the potential to transmit JEV; as per the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

In NSW, JE vaccine is now also recommended for people who:

  • Live or work in any of the following Local Government Areas (LGAs): Albury, Balranald, Berrigan, Carrathool, Dubbo Regional, Edward River, Federation, Goulburn Mulwaree, Greater Hume, Griffith, Lockhart, Murray River, Temora, or Wentworth and;
  • Are aged 50 years or older and;
  • Spend significant time outdoors (four hours per day). 

JE vaccine is available through local general practitioners (GP). People who meet the above criteria should make an appointment with their GP and let them know it is for the Japanese Encephalitis vaccine. GPs may require a few days' notice so they can order the vaccine.

At this time, it is not recommended that NSW GPs consider JE vaccination for other groups in the community. Mosquito bite avoidance should be encouraged.

Current approach to vaccination in NSW

  • NSW Health has secured a limited supply of JE vaccines.
  • Vaccines are available to order from the State Vaccine Centre strictly for administration to patients in the groups above.
Current as at: Wednesday 14 September 2022
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW