Last updated: 27 October 2022

The Japanese encephalitis vaccine is safe and effective for people aged 2 months and older. Vaccination is recommended for those at the highest risk of catching Japanese Encephalitis.

Once fully vaccinated, it can take around 4 weeks for your body to develop a protective immune response to the disease, so if you’re eligible, you should get vaccinated as soon as possible.  

Who is eligible for a Japanese encephalitis virus vaccination

In NSW, the JEV vaccine is recommended for those who live in one of the following Local Government Areas: 

Albury, Balranald, Berrigan, Carrathool, Dubbo Regional, Edward River, Federation, Goulburn Mulwaree, Greater Hume, Griffith, Hay Shire, Lockhart, Murray River, Murrumbidgee, Temora and Wentworth. 

AND are either: 

  1. aged 50 years or older who spend four or more hours per day outdoors or,
  2. are engaged in the recovery efforts (clean up) of stagnant waters following floods or,
  3. are living in conditions that place them at increased risk of exposure to mosquitoes. 

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

  • people who work, live, or are visiting a:
    • piggery, including 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.
  • people 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 people working with JEV cultures or mosquitoes with the potential to transmit JEV; as per the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

Japanese encephalitis vaccination information

There are two safe and effective JEV vaccines:

  • Imojev: one dose vaccine available for use in people aged 9 months and olders. 
  • JEspect: two doses, available for use in infants and children aged ≥2 months and older, including people who are immunocompromised, and pregnant women. 

For more information on the available JEV vaccines, visit the Australian Immunisation Handbook. 


How to get Japanese encephalitis vaccination

If you are eligible for a free JEV vaccine, speak to your GP about getting vaccinated todayJE vaccine is available through local general practitioners (GPs).

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.

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 people who are eligible as outlined above. 

Current as at: Thursday 27 October 2022
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW