The japanese encephalitis vaccine prevents japanese encephalitis in nine out of ten people. For the cost of one course of the vaccine, you can be protected against the potentially fatal virus for as long as ten years. Japanese encephalitis vaccine side effects are mild, and include soreness at the injection site, headache and muscle pain.
The japanese encephalitis vaccine lasts ten years for most people, if they receive a full course.
If you need the vaccine, you should begin your japanese encephalitis vaccine schedule at least one week before you travel. This is because you will require two doses, with a minimum of seven days in between each dose, before you are fully protected.
You will need to return for a third dose a minimum of one year later to ensure that you are protected for ten years.
Japanese encephalitis boosters are available if you need to continue your protection. One booster jab can protect you for a further ten years.
Up to 40% of people who get vaccinated experience japanese encephalitis vaccine side effects, but they are mild and most people recover quickly.
Despite the possibility of vaccine side effects, it is still very important that you protect yourself before travelling in risk areas, as japanese encephalitis can be fatal.
Japanese encephalitis vaccine side effects can include:
pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
More serious japanese encephalitis vaccine side effects are rare but can include:
a raised, itchy red rash
swelling of the face
If you develop any japanese encephalitis vaccine side effects that you are worried about, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
You may be unsure if you need the japanese encephalitis vaccine. Generally, the japanese encephalitis vaccine is recommended to people travelling to a risk area. Check if there is a current risk of japanese encephalitis in the country you are travelling to.
More specifically, you may need the vaccine if you:
are travelling to a risk area for more than a month
are planning outdoor activities, such as hiking and camping
are visiting rural areas, like rice fields and marshlands
are travelling during rainy seasons
are travelling in a tropical climate
This is because you are at higher risk of getting infected with japanese encephalitis, if any of this applies to you.
But even though the japanese encephalitis vaccine is recommended to most people, it can also cause problems for some. This includes people who are allergic to any of the ingredients of the vaccine, people who are currently unwell with a fever and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you belong to any of these groups or you are unsure whether you should get the japanese encephalitis vaccine, you can book a free telephone consultation with one of our prescribing nurses for a personal assessment.
The Japanese encephalitis vaccine is not usually recommended for children less than two years old because it is not known how safe and effective it is for this age group.
If you may be at risk of japanese encephalitis, it is recommended that you check whether you need the vaccine, as the disease can be fatal. For the cost of the japanese encephalitis vaccine, see below.
Anne Marie Major, Independent Nurse Prescriber
June 25, 2019