Health and safety forum
Japanese Encephalitis Vaccination Information
15th August, 2013
Before I left on my travels for SE Asia I was undecided about having my JE jab as I think many people are. I traulled through lots of posts on various forums and websites looking for further info and advice. I wanted to share my experience with you as I think many will find it useful.
I am not a doctor and this is simply based on my experience and understanding of the topic.
When I visited my GP prior to leaving on my travels I was advised that the JE vaccination used in the UK was derived from mouse brain and was known to have a number of potentially nasty side effects and a reasonable risk of complications. My nurse advised me that I did not need it.
After further research I discovered that the derivative of the vaccine that the nurse discussed with me was outdated and had been replaced by a new and much safer vaccine known as Ixiaro which is based on a non-active vero cell formula. This is administered in 2 doses, 28 days apart.
The cost of this course is approximately Â£150 which I think presents a barrier to many travellers taking the vaccine when budgeting all other costs and other higher priority vaccines etc. These priorities obviously depend on the type of activities you intend to engage in while away. A JE vaccine may be top priority if you are working in rural areas surrounded by rice paddies and pigs for extended periods.
Initially I decided that I was low risk and given the rarity of the disease in travellers and advice from my nurse I would not have the vaccine.
2 weeks before departure I changed my mind after I had researched this new information. I was of course too close to my departure date to have the 2nd jab before I left. When speaking with the nurse at the travel clinic I was advised that I could have my 2nd jab in Thailand. Taking her advice I had the first jab costing me Â£80 inc a Â£10 consultation fee.
I was given details of hospitals in Bangkok hat were part of the same Internationally recognised clinics to which I then started to contact in hope of booking an appointment on my arrival. Unfortunately at this stage I discovered that they do not use the same vaccine in Asia, Ixiaro is not available. I was given incorrect information by my travel clinic.
To cut a long story short I ended up visiting a hospital in Chaing Mai after 28 days had passed from my initial jab. In Asia they use 2 different vaccines, both are live attenuated variants. One is called CD.Jevax and the other IMOJEV.
CD.Jevax is a 2 dose course. Administered day 1 and then a booster after 3 months.
IMOJEV is a single dose with no booster required.
Given I was travelling 3 months IMOJEV seemed the best option for me. One dose and no need to revisit for a booster. I had the vaccine which cost me approximately 1000 Baht including the consultation fee. So about Â£20 in total.
The point I am trying to make is that if like me you believe it's best to have as much protection as possible regardless of the odds of actually getting something. And if budget and finance prevents you getting that protection in the UK. Consider having this vaccination in Thailand.
It's incredibly cheap, the vaccine is safe (obviously all vacines carry some potential risks) and is also administered in Australia (IMOJEV). I was in and out of hospital in about an hour and it was incredibly easy. I didn't even have an appointment. The service was very good and I was even contacted about 3 days later to check I was ok and hadn't had any reactions.
I hope this helps if this is a dilemma you are facing as I did. Please do your own research as I have been as accurate as I can be with my limited knowledge but I do not profess to be a professional of any kind.
#1 Posted: 9/12/2013 - 11:39
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