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Recommendations Developed for Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

FRIDAY, July 19, 2019 -- In the July 19 issue of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, recommendations are presented for use of the Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine.

Susan L. Hills, M.B.B.S., from the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases at the CDC in Fort Collins, Colorado, and colleagues summarize the epidemiology of JE, describe the JE vaccine that is available in the United States, and provide recommendations for its use.

The researchers note that the mosquito-borne JE virus is the most common vaccine-preventable cause of encephalitis in Asia. The only JE vaccine that is licensed and available in the United States is the inactivated Vero cell culture-derived JE vaccine, which was licensed for use in persons aged ≥17 years in 2009; in 2013, the licensure was extended to include children aged ≥2 months. Travelers to countries where JE is endemic should be advised to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites; the vaccine can reduce the risk for infection for some persons who might be at increased JE risk. The decision about whether to vaccinate should be individualized. Persons moving to a JE-endemic country to take up residence, as well as longer-term and frequent travelers to JE-endemic regions, should receive the JE vaccine.

"JE vaccine is not recommended for travelers with very low-risk itineraries, such as shorter-term travel limited to urban areas or travel that occurs outside of a well-defined JE virus transmission season," the authors write.

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Posted: July 2019

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