October 24, 2013
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ACIP to reconsider Japanese encephalitis vaccine recommendation

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Because of a recent change in WHO recommendations for the Japanese encephalitis vaccine, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices will be evaluating its recommendations for this vaccine.

“The original recommendation by WHO was for people to receive a booster dose every 10 years,” ACIP member Joseph Bocchini, MD, said during a presentation. “Based on systematic review of evidence, the WHO Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunization recently concluded that a single dose of the vaccine is sufficient for lifelong immunity, therefore dropping the recommendation for booster doses.”

Joseph A. Bocchini, MD 

Joseph Bocchini

There is one Japanese encephalitis vaccine currently available in the United States, and it is indicated for people traveling to or living in endemic areas. Bocchini said the ACIP working group for the Japanese encephalitis vaccine will be reviewing the current CDC recommendation, evaluating long-term immunogenicity data for the vaccine and evaluating data for travelers to endemic areas and for laboratory workers who work with the disease.

They expect to bring the data and recommendations to the ACIP for vote in 2014.