Japanese Encephalitis Vaccines 2023

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Last reviewed
March 1, 2023
Content Overview
Japanese Encephalitis Vaccines Are U.S. FDA Authorized in 2023

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccines 2023

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) protective vaccines are safe and effective as of March 2023. Japanese encephalitis is rare; the case-fatality rate among those with encephalitis can be as high as 30%. In addition, permanent neurologic or psychiatric sequelae can occur in 30%–50% of those with encephalitis. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the disease, says the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccines Authorized

JENVAC is an inactivated vero cell-derived vaccine prepared from an Indian Kolar strain of the Japanese encephalitis virus.

Ixiaro is an inactivated, adsorbed Vero cell culture-derived vaccine. It is prepared by propagating JEV strain SA14-14-2 in Vero cells. Multiple viral harvests are pooled, clarified, and concentrated. The virus suspension is treated with protamine sulfate to remove contaminating DNA and proteins. This vaccine was approved in March 2009 for use in people aged 17 years and older and in May 2013 for use in children two months through 16 years of age.

Other JE vaccines are manufactured and used in other countries but are not licensed in the United States.

Japanese Encephalitis Indication

JEV treatment is focused on relieving severe clinical signs and supporting the patient to overcome the infection. Treatment is symptomatic. Rest, fluids, and pain relievers, and medication to reduce fever may relieve some symptoms.

JE vaccine is recommended for persons moving to a JE-endemic country to live, longer-term (e.g.one month or longer) travelers, and frequent travelers to JE-endemic areas. JE vaccine also should be considered for shorter-term (e.g., less than 1 month) travelers with an increased risk of JE based on planned travel duration, season, location, activities, and accommodations. Vaccination should also be considered for travelers to endemic areas uncertain of a specific duration of travel, destinations, or activities.

JE vaccine is not recommended for travelers with very low-risk itineraries, such as shorter-term travel limited to urban areas or outside a well-defined JE virus transmission season.