Free FWLHD vaccination clinics for Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus
The Far West LHD is holding free vaccination clinics for eligible people in the District to help protect them against Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus in time for the summer mosquito season.
It is important to vaccinate now against JE virus if you are eligible as it takes up to four weeks following vaccination to develop a protective immune response to the JE virus.
The FWLHD free JE vaccination clinics will be held at:
- Buronga Midway Centre, on Tuesday, 6 December 2022 from 10am to 6pm. Walk-ins welcome. Walk-ins welcome or call 03 5021 7200 for appointment.
- Wentworth, Wentworth Town Hall on Wednesday, 7 December 2022 from 10am to 6pm. Walk-ins welcome. Walk-ins welcome or call 03 5021 7200 for appointment.
- Menindee Health Service on Friday, 9 December 2022 from 9am to 5.30pm. Call Menindee Health Service on 08 8083 2700 (during Monday to Friday 9-5pm) for an appointment, which is preferred but walk-ins welcome also.
In NSW, a free JE vaccination is recommended for people aged two months or older who live or routinely work in 41 Local Government Areas with identified JE risk in the south and west of NSW who:
- spend significant time outdoors (four hours per day), for unavoidable work, recreation, education, or other essential activities, OR
- are living in temporary or flood-damaged accommodation (e.g. camps, tents, dwellings exposed to the external environment) that place them at increased risk of exposure to mosquitoes, OR
- are engaged in the prolonged outdoor recovery efforts (clean up) of stagnant waters following floods.
A free JE vaccination is also recommended for people who live in any part of NSW and:
- work, live, or are visiting a:
- piggery, including farm workers and their families (including children aged 2 months and older) living at the piggery, animal transport workers, veterinarians (including veterinary students and nurses) and others involved in the care of pigs.
- pork abattoir or pork rendering plant.
- 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 well as the free FWLHD clinics next week, JE vaccine is available through local General Practitioners (GPs) and registered Pharmacists. People who meet the above criteria should make an appointment with their doctor and let them know it is for the JE vaccine.
GPs and pharmacists may require a few days’ notice so they can order the vaccine. The vaccine is also recommended for people travelling to some overseas counties, but these vaccines are available for purchase on the private market.
Everyone is urged to stay vigilant and take precautions against mosquito bites altogether because, aside from JE, mosquitoes carry a range of viruses for which there are no vaccines.
Protect yourself and your family from mosquito bites now by:
- wearing light, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts, long pants and covered footwear and socks, especially around dusk and dawn
- applying repellent to all areas of exposed skin, using repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus
- re-applying repellent regularly, particularly after swimming, being sure to always apply sunscreen first and then apply repellent
- avoid going outdoors at dawn and dusk, unless wearing mosquito repellents and protective clothing
- covering openings such as windows and doors with insect screens and checking there are no have gaps in them
- removing items that might collect water (such as old tyres, empty pots) outside your house where mosquitoes can breed
- improving drainage on your property so that water does not become stagnant
- using insecticide sprays, vapour dispensing units and mosquito coils to repel mosquitos (mosquito coils should only be used outside).
Supply of JE vaccine continues to be severely constrained in Australia. People who are eligible for vaccination are urged to come forward for vaccination with stock currently available in NSW, and additional vaccines are expected to arrive in the first part of 2023.
For further information on JE vaccination go to:
For information on how to protect yourself: www.health.nsw.gov.au/mosquitoes