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A Shot against Japanese Encephalitis

A Shot against Japanese Encephalitis

What is this vaccine?

There are several types of JE vaccines, and just like most vaccines, they are developed either from live but weakened versions of JE virus (which will not cause the disease when injected into the body) or an inactive version of the virus grown and cultivated in a laboratory.

How does the vaccine work?

Like all vaccines, the JE vaccine triggers the body’s immune system to produce antibodies without actually causing the disease. Therefore, the next time the actual JE virus finds its way into the body, the immune system will produce the antibodies that will help protect the person from the disease.

Is the vaccine really useful?

Yes, it is. In a study conducted in Sibu between 1997 and 2006, it was found that the introduction of the JE vaccination reduced the incidence of JE from 9.8 per 100,000 population under 12 years old per year to 4.3 per 100,000.2

Can children receive the vaccine?

Depending on the specific type of vaccine, children after a certain age can safely receive it. Talk to a doctor for more information.

Who should not or cannot receive the vaccine?

The specific groups of people who should not receive the JE vaccine may differ slightly from one brand of vaccine to another. You should consult your doctor for more information. Generally, though, you should notify your doctor before receiving the vaccination if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffering from a medical condition that weakens the immune system.

[1] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010). Japanese encephalitis vaccines: recommendations of the Advisory Commitee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 59, 7.

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