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New South Wales significantly expands access to Japanese encephalitis vaccine

Japanese encephalitis vaccine is now recommended for people aged 2 months and older who live or work regularly at age 41 Municipal area Individuals at risk for JE identified in western New South Wales who:

  • Spending significant time outdoors (4 hours per day) for compelling work, recreation, education, or other essential activities, or
  • live in temporary or flood-damaged accommodation (e.g. camps, tents, dwellings exposed to the outside environment) where there is a high risk of exposure to mosquitoes; or
  • We are engaged in long-term outdoor restoration work (cleanup) of stagnant water after flooding.

The NSW Health Department and the NSW Primary Industries Department, with the support of local councils, are working closely together to ensure a comprehensive response to JE, including vaccination, mosquito surveillance and control. NSW Health helps local governments carry out mosquito control and other surveillance activities.

Dr Jeremy McAnulty, Executive Director of Health Protection NSW, said the key to protecting against Japanese encephalitis and other mosquito-borne infections is avoiding mosquito bites. Vaccination can also prevent Japanese encephalitis infection for people who are likely to be bitten by mosquitoes in infected areas.

Dr McAnulty stressed that vaccine supplies continue to be limited in Australia, but stressed that those most at risk should be vaccinated with available supplies in NSW. .

“People at highest risk are encouraged to take advantage of free access to the vaccine as soon as possible, especially after vaccination, until protective immunity develops, as they spend a lot of time outdoors in infected areas. It can take up to two weeks or more to respond to the virus,” said Dr. McAnulty.

NSW Health has ordered additional vaccines which are expected to arrive in the first half of 2023.

Dr Sarah Britton, Chief Veterinary Officer of the New South Wales Primary Industries Authority, said people working in high-risk environments, as well as those with 39 LGAs, should continue to be vaccinated wherever they live. is recommended.

“Including farm workers and their families, animal transport workers, veterinarians and others involved in the care of pigs, living anywhere in NSW, working on, living on or on a pig farm Vaccines are also strongly recommended for anyone visiting the area, and this extends to pig slaughterhouses and pig rendering plants,” said Dr. Britton.

Japanese encephalitis vaccine is available through your local general practitioner (GP). If you meet the eligibility criteria, please make an appointment with your doctor and let them know that you are receiving the Japanese encephalitis vaccine. Some GPs require a few days’ notice so vaccines can be ordered.

Last mosquito season, 13 people in New South Wales were clinically diagnosed with JE, two of whom unfortunately died. All were presumed that he contracted the virus between mid-January 2022 and the end of February. For this mosquito season, her JE’s sentinel surveillance on mosquitoes has begun.

Japanese encephalitis is a serious disease caused by the Japanese encephalitis virus, but only about 1% of people infected with the Japanese encephalitis virus experience symptoms.

Japanese encephalitis is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. A person cannot pass the virus to another person. Humans cannot become infected with the virus by touching infected animals or by eating animal products, including pork products.

Australian mosquitoes can carry a variety of viruses for which there are no vaccines, so it’s important to avoid mosquito bites.

To protect you and your family:

  • Cover openings such as windows and doors with insect screens and make sure there are no gaps
  • Remove items that can collect water outside your home (old tires, empty pots, etc.) where mosquitoes can breed
  • Improve the drainage of your property so water does not stagnate
  • Wear light, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and covered footwear and socks (especially at dusk and dawn)
  • Apply repellent to all areas of exposed skin using a repellent containing DEET, picaridin, or lemon eucalyptus oil
  • Reapply the repellent regularly, especially after swimming, and always apply sunscreen first, then repellent.
  • Use insecticide sprays, vapor spray units, and mosquito coils to repel mosquitoes (only use mosquito coils outdoors).

For more information about the JE virus and how to protect yourself, visit the following websites: NSW Health website.

https://www.nsw.gov.au/nsw-significantly-expands-access-to-je-vaccine New South Wales significantly expands access to Japanese encephalitis vaccine

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