mosquito on skin

Japanese encephalitis is a rare but potentially serious infection of the brain caused by a virus that can be spread through mosquito bites.

Vaccination eligibility

The JE vaccine is available free for people aged two months or older who live or routinely work in any of the following high-risk local government areas of Albury, Benalla, Buloke, Campaspe, Gannawarra, Greater Bendigo, Greater Shepparton, Indigo, Loddon, Mildura, Moira, Strathbogie, Swan Hill, Towong, Wangaratta, Wodonga and who:

  • regularly spend time engaging in outdoor activities that place them as risk of mosquito bites, or
  • are experiencing homelessness or living in conditions with limited mosquito protection (e.g. tents, caravans, no insect screens), or
  • are engaging in outdoor flood recovery (clean-up) efforts, including repeated professional or volunteer deployments.

The risk of exposure to mosquitoes is low at an elevation of greater than 500 metres and therefore, JE vaccination is only recommended for individuals who spend significant time outdoors below this elevation in these LGAs.

There are no restriction in any local government areas for:

  • people who work at, reside at, or have a planned non-deferable visit to a: pork abattoir, pork rendering plant or piggery, including farm workers and their families living at the piggery, transport workers, veterinarians and others involved in the care of pigs OR a property that has been confirmed or is suspected to be infected with JE virus.
  • personnel who 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) and entomologists.
  • all diagnostic and research laboratory workers who may be exposed to the virus, such as persons working with JE virus cultures or mosquitoes with the potential to transmit JE virus; as per the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

*Note eligibility criteria is subject to change based on surveillance information.


Last Update: May 23rd, 2024