Japanese encephalitis vaccination program expansion

Japanese encephalitis vaccination program expansion

06 February, 2023

Victoria have further expanded priority groups for whom JE vaccine is recommended (please note this expansion aligns with NSW who will be announcing their expansion on Friday 27 January 2023).

The program expansion in Victoria will take effect from Monday 30 January 2023.

Expanded JE vaccination eligibility criteria

In Victoria, JE vaccine is available free-of-charge for:

High-risk local government areas

People aged 2 months or older who live or routinely work in any of the following local government areas of Campaspe, Gannawarra, Greater Shepparton, Indigo, Loddon, Mildura, Moira, Swan Hill, Wodonga, Towong, Benalla, Wangaratta and Strathbogie, AND:

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

*Vaccination can be administered before arrival in flood affected areas to those from other regions deployed for recovery efforts by arrangement.

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

No restriction to local government areas

  • People who work at, reside at, or have a planned non-deferable visit to a:
    • piggery, including but not limited to farm workers and their families (including children aged 2 months and older) living at the piggery, transport workers, veterinarians and others involved in the care of pigs
    • property that has been confirmed to be infected with JE virus
    • property suspected to be infected with JE virus
    • pork abattoir or pork rendering plant.
  • 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)
    • 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.

Key changes

  • Removal of criteria requiring the need to be outdoors for >4hrs/day for unavoidable reasons.
  • JE vaccine can now be administered before arrival in flood affected areas to those from other regions deployed for recovery efforts.


  • The Department of Health Japanese encephalitis virus website will be updated.
  • The resources below will be updated and will be available online at the Japanese encephalitis virus website (scroll to bottom of the page):
    • JE vaccination consent form
    • JE vaccine information for immunisation providers
    • JE vaccine eligibility checklist for the public
    • JE – frequently asked questions