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Published On: Wed, Oct 9th, 2013

Japanese encephalitis vaccine from China gets WHO stamp of approval

A Japanese encephalitis (JE) vaccine manufactured in China has be prequalified by the World Health Organization (WHO) becoming the first Chinese-produced vaccine to receive this status.

Ochlerotatus japonicus Image/CDC

Ochlerotatus japonicus
Image/CDC

The vaccine has several benefits according to the UN health agency to include it only needs to be given in one dose, it can be used for infants and it is less expensive than other Japanese encephalitis vaccines.

“This is a welcome development both in the fight to protect children in developing countries from JE and in the future availability of vaccines more generally, as China is now producing vaccines up to WHO standards,” says WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan. “There is a huge potential for vaccine manufacture in China and we hope to see more and more Chinese vaccines become WHO prequalified. The whole world will benefit.”

The newly accessible vaccine is available to the world now thanks to the outcome of several years of collaboration between WHO and the authorities of China on vaccine production standards and regulation.

The vaccine prequalification procedure is a service provided by WHO which guarantees that individual vaccines meet international standards of quality, safety and efficacy and are appropriate for the target population. United Nations procurement agencies can only purchase vaccines that have “passed” the rigorous review process involved.

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is the main cause of viral encephalitis in many countries of Asia. The infection is mosquito-borne and caused by the JE virus, a flavivirus related to dengue, yellow fever and West Nile viruses. The virus exists in a transmission cycle between mosquitoes, pigs and/or water birds (enzootic cycle). Humans get infected when bitten by an infected mosquito. The disease is predominantly found in rural and periurban settings, the WHO notes.

Annual mortality is estimated to range from 10-15 000 deaths. A recent literature review estimates that, of the 68 000 clinical cases of JE, at least 30% result in permanent neuropsychiatric sequelae. The disease is endemic with seasonal distribution in temperate climate zones of Asia as well as South and South-East Asia.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Taiwan reports two additional Japanese encephalitis cases | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] About 1 in 4 cases are fatal. There is no specific treatment for JE. Patient management focuses on supportive care and management of complications. Steps to prevent JE include using personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites and vaccination. […]

  2. Taiwan reports 1st Japanese encephalitis case of 2015 | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] Steps to prevent JE include using personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites and vaccination. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease […]

  3. Taiwan reports 17th human case of Japanese encephalitis this year | Outbreak News Today says:

    […] Steps to prevent JE include using personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites and vaccination. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease […]

  4. Japanese encephalitis reported in Hong Kong, Vietnam - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Steps to prevent JE include using personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites and vaccination. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease […]

  5. Hong Kong confirms Japanese encephalitis in 5-year-old boy, investigation ongoing - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] About 1 in 4 cases are fatal. There is no specific treatment for JE. Patient management focuses on supportive care and management of complications. Steps to prevent JE include using personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites and vaccination. […]

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