As of February 17 2023, Biocelect Pty Ltd is proud to have added IMOJEV (Japanese encephalitis vaccine, live attenuated) to our portfolio of travel vaccines.
Japanese encephalitis was declared a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance in Australia in March 2022, and the Australian Government established the National Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine Vaccination Plan, to ensure all Australians at risk have access to a JE vaccine.
Further information is available from the Australian Government’s Japanese encephalitis virus website, accessible via this link.
Why is there an alert?
Declaration of a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance
On 4 March 2022, Australia’s Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sonya Bennett, declared the Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) situation a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance. She determined a national approach was required in relation to coordination of health policy, interventions and public messaging.
The declaration was made under the Emergency Response Plan for Communicable Disease Incidents of National Significance, in consultation with the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee.
JEV is a nationally notifiable disease in both humans and animals.
What we are doing?
The Australian Government’s health and agriculture departments have been are working very closely with state government counterparts to ensure a swift and coordinated response to JEV.
The human health response includes:
The JEV outbreak being declared a Communicable Disease Incident of National Significance (CDINS) on 4 March 2022
Engagement with experts, to develop/revise clinical guidance and support JEV testing, diagnosis and vaccination.
Enhanced surveillance and risk mapping to better understand the spread of JEV across Australia and potential risk of infection.
Delivery of a national Communications strategy, to raise awareness of the risks of JEV and importance of bite avoidance measures. Communications include targeted First Nations resources.
Ensuring access to vaccines via states and territories to those at greatest risk of infection.
The Australian Government also provides information on the National JEV Vaccination Plan accessible via this link. Some information from this website is included below.
Getting a Japanese encephalitis vaccine
The National JEV Vaccination Plan provides an overarching framework for the use of JEV vaccines in Australia and was endorsed by the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee in August 2022.
Under the Plan, state and territory public health units are responsible for coordinating and implementing the JEV vaccination program.
The National JEV Vaccination Plan outlines a phased approach to vaccination based on JEV exposure risk, to maximise use of existing JEV vaccines in Australia. Under Phase 1 of the Plan, vaccination was initially prioritised for those with occupational and/or relevant animal exposure risk, including:
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
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)
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.
Expansion beyond these groups (Phase 2) has commenced, with states and territories defining the eligibility criteria within their jurisdiction based on local risk, vaccine availability and other evidence as it arises.
You can find more information about JEV in your local area, including vaccination eligibility, via your state or territory page:
Contact your local public health authority to find out if you should have a JEV vaccine.