Free Japanese Encephalitis Vaccinations sessions

Swan Hill Rural City Council residents can take advantage of free Japanese Encephalitis Vaccinations sessions, being run by Council this month.

Council's Public Health and Regulatory Services Coordinator, Kelsey Corrie said with an increase in the mosquito population, due to recent heavy rainfall and flood water within the region, the vaccine offers protection against Japanese Encephalitis.

"Japanese Encephalitis is a rare but potentially serious infection of the brain caused by a virus which can be spread through the bite of an infected mosquito.

"The vaccine does not protect against other mosquito-borne diseases such as Ross River, Murray Valley and Barmah Forest viruses," Ms Corrie said.

Ms Corrie said an eligibility criteria for people to receive the free vaccination would need to be met.

"People who live or routinely work within our municipality, and spend significant time outdoors (at least four hours a day) for unavoidable work, educational or other essential activities, are eligible for vaccination.

"People in temporary or flood-damaged accommodation or are engaged in prolonged outdoor recovery efforts for four weeks or longer are also eligible, along with people who have worked at or live on a piggery or work with pigs, or at pork abattoirs or rendering plants," she said.

Ms Corrie said Council would be holding three upcoming vaccination clinics at the Swan Hill Anglican Church, 46 Splatt Street in Swan Hill on the following dates:

  • Thursday 1 December from 9:00am -1:00pm
  • Wednesday 14 December from 2:00pm - 5:00pm
  • Thursday 15 December from 9:00am - 1:00pm

Booking for these sessions are essential.

Ms Corrie added the most effective way to avoid Japanese Encephalitis, or other mosquito-borne diseases, is to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes.

"Residents are encouraged to follow the Beat the Bite actions including covering up with long loose clothing, using mosquito spray containing DEET or Picardin, removing all stagnant water (such as bases of pot plants) from around your home, fitting insect netting to all windows, and avoiding being outside at dusk and dawn," she said.

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