Free JE vaccine access expanded

Free JE vaccine access expanded

FREE access to the Japanese encephalitis vaccine has been extended in NSW and Victoria to ensure residents living in high-risk LGAs such as Wentworth and Mildura are protected this mosquito season.

Communities along the Murray River have been urged to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites this summer as routine animal surveillance suggests Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus has survived the winter in Victoria and NSW.

Free vaccines have been offered by the government to those who meet eligibility criteria, which have just been expanded to help protect more residents.

The NSW Government said the new change in eligibility criteria removed the need for people living in high-risk areas to spend at least four hours a day outdoors and clarified other criteria to help people determine whether they could access the free can get vaccine.

In addition to the current group of people working with pigs or mosquitoes or in specialized laboratories, Communicable Diseases Network Australia’s (CDNA) national priority groups, and some international travelers, JE vaccine is now also recommended for people two months or older living or working regularly in any of the high-risk Local Government Areas and regularly spend time outdoors putting themselves at risk of mosquito bites, or experience homelessness, live in conditions with limited mosquito protection (eg tents, caravans, dwellings without insect screens) or engage in outdoor activities flood recovery efforts, including repeated professional or volunteer deployments.

Mildura and Wentworth are classified as risk LGAs.

“Now is a good time to vaccinate, not only because we are in the middle of mosquito season, but because the eligibility criteria are now being extended to include a much wider group within affected regional areas,” Ms Glasgow said. said.

“However, it is important that the community continues to be vigilant and take precautions against mosquito bites because, apart from Japanese encephalitis, mosquitoes carry a range of viruses for which there are no vaccines.”

People in NSW and Victoria are being urged to take steps to prevent mosquito bites to protect against mosquito-borne viruses. Protect yourself and your family by wearing light, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts, long pants and covered shoes and socks, especially around dusk and dawn, use repellent on all areas of exposed skin, use repellents containing DEET, picaridin or oil. of lemon eucalyptus, reapply repellent regularly, especially after swimming, make sure you always apply sunscreen first and then apply repellent, use insecticide sprays, vaporizers and mosquito nets to repel mosquitoes (mosquito nets should only be used outside), cover openings such as windows and doors with insect screens and check that there are no gaps in them, remove items that can collect water (such as old tires, empty pots) outside your home where mosquitoes can breed, and improve drainage on your property so that water does not stagnate.

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