Taiwan’s Center of Disease Control (CDC) announced that it will introduce a new vaccine for Japanese encephalitis on Monday, May 22, Apple Daily reported. The current vaccine is commonly given to infants in Taiwan.
The current Japanese encephalitis vaccine is an inactivated vaccine, while the new one will be low-activated, which will reduce side effects. The new vaccine will only require two shots instead of four for the old vaccine.
The Japanese encephalitis virus, which is spread by three mosquito species, has an epidemic season of five to ten months in Taiwan, and is more commonly contracted during early dawn or dusk hours. Most patients with Japanese encephalitis are asymptomatic.
CDC Deputy Director-general Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that the prevention level through the vaccines will be the same, but the time period for the shots and side effects will be reduced.
The previous vaccine required the first shot at 15 months, with three follow-up booster shots that last into primary school. The new vaccine will begin at 15 months with a follow-up shot at 27 months. The old vaccine will still be given to some groups for whom the new vaccine is not suitable, such as pregnant women or those with HIV.