The Western NSW LHD (WNSWLHD) is running free vaccination clinics for eligible people in Cobar, Nyngan, and Warren to help protect them against Japanese encephalitis (JE) virus in time for the summer mosquito season.
It is important to vaccinate now against JE virus if you are eligible because it takes up to four weeks following vaccination to develop a protective immune response to the JE virus.
The WNSWLHD free JE vaccination clinics will be held:
• Coonabarabran MPS 101-103 Edwards Street, on Tuesday, 22 November 2022 from 10am to 4pm
• Baradine MPS Macquarie Street on Tuesday, 22 November 2022 from 11am to 2pm
• Coonamble MPS 150 Castlereagh Street on Wednesday, 23 November 2022 from 10am to 4pm
• Gilgandra MPS Chelmsford avenue on Thursday, 24 November 2022 from 10am to 4pm
These are walk in clinics. Please bring your Medicare card and Identification.
JE vaccine is now recommended for people aged two months or older who live or routinely work in 41 Local Government Areas, including; Bogan, Bourke, Brewarrina, Cobar, Coonamble, Dubbo Regional, Forbes, Gilgandra, Lachlan, Narromine, Parkes, Walgett, Warren, Warrumbungle and Weddin shires, with identified JE risk in the WNSWLHD who:
• Spend significant time outdoors (four hours per day), for unavoidable work, recreation, education, or other essential activities, OR
• Are living in temporary or flood damaged accommodation (e.g. camps, tents, dwellings exposed to the external environment) that place them at increased risk of exposure to mosquitoes, OR
• Are engaged in the prolonged outdoor recovery efforts (clean up) of stagnant waters following floods.
As well as the free WNSWLHD clinics next week, JE vaccine is available through local General Practitioners (GPs). People who meet the above criteria should make an appointment with their doctor and let them know it is for the JE vaccine.
GPs may require a few days’ notice so they can order the vaccine. The vaccine is also recommended for people travelling to some overseas counties, but these vaccines are available for purchase on the private market.
Everyone is urged to stay vigilant and take precautions against mosquito bites altogether because, aside from JE, mosquitoes carry a range of viruses for which there are no vaccines.
Protect yourself and your family by:
• covering openings such as windows and doors with insect screens and checking there are no have gaps in them
• removing items that might collect water (such as old tyres, empty pots) outside your house where mosquitoes can breed
• improving drainage on your property so that water does not become stagnant
• wearing light, loose-fitting long-sleeved shirts, long pants and covered footwear and socks, especially around dusk and dawn
• applying repellent to all areas of exposed skin, using repellents that contain DEET, picaridin, or oil of lemon eucalyptus
• re-applying repellent regularly, particularly after swimming, being sure to always apply sunscreen first and then apply repellent
• using insecticide sprays, vapour dispensing units and mosquito coils to repel mosquitos (mosquito coils should only be used outside).