How Soon Should You Get the Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine Before Travel?

Japanese Encephalitis is a viral brain infection that is caused by mosquito bites. The virus actually originates in pigs and birds and then is spread to the insects when theyare bitten. There is one vaccine licensed for use in the UK to offer protection against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) pharmacy provides this at our travel clinic in Epsom.

What are the symptoms of Japanese Encephalitis?
Most people experience quite short-lived symptoms which are either mistaken for a cold or flu. However, around 1 in every 250 people infected with JE will experience a more serious version of the disease as the infection spreads to the brain.

The more serious version of JE can result in a fever, stiff neck, confusion and seizures with loss of speech function and uncontrollable shaking.

Around one third of people who develop these serious symptoms will die and those that survive will face a long road to recovery and can be left with permanent brain damage.

How soon should you have the JE vaccine before you travel?
The vaccine for JE is not available on the NHS, so you need to find a professional provider like Miles Pharmacy and pay to have the vaccine administered privately. Miles Pharmacy offer a range of vaccines at their travel clinic in Epsom.

The vaccine is given as an injection for adults and children aged 2 months and older.

Encephalitis vaccinations are given as a two-dose format with the second dose administered 28 days after the first. Both doses of the vaccine should be given at least 7 days before you visit an area where there is an increased risk of JE. Sometimes, people aged between 18 and 64 may be given the second dose 7 days after the first, this is called an accelerated schedule.

There can be side effects from the vaccinations so spreading them out over the course of 28 days may be preferable.

Is there a cure for Japanese Encephalitis?
There is currently no cure for Japanese Encephalitis so emphasis should be placed on taking necessary precautions against contracting Japanese Encephalitis when travelling, principally by having the JE vaccine.

Those who contract the disease usually require supportive treatment in hospital whilst they fight off the infection. This is given by way of fluids, oxygen and appropriate medication.

For more information about the Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine, you can visit our travel clinic in Epsom. Find out more on the website