General – pre-season

  • The risk of mosquito-borne infections will increase in the coming months (November to March) in Victoria, as mosquito numbers do.
  • This includes Japanese encephalitis, a rare but potentially serious infection of the brain caused by a virus that can be spread to humans through mosquito bites.
  • Be prepared – Japanese encephalitis is a rare infection but one that can be very serious. Vaccination can protect you.
  • Get the vaccine now to make sure you’re protected against Japanese encephalitis before mosquito season begins.
  • Japanese encephalitis Virus (JEV) was first identified in Victoria in early 2022 and may re-emerge this year.
  • Although there is a vaccine for Japanese encephalitis virus, there are no vaccines against other mosquito-borne diseases. The best way to prevent diseases from mosquitoes is to avoid mozzie bites.
  • Contact your Local Public Health Unit to find out where you can be vaccinated


  • JE vaccinations are provided free to eligible Victorians by councils and Local Public Health Units
  • You are eligible for JE vaccination no matter where you live if you:
    • work or live on a piggery
    • work directly with pigs (pig transport, veterinarians and others involved in the care of pigs)
    • work in a pork abattoir or rendering plant
    • or work in mosquito surveillance or control, in the field or a laboratory.
  • Some other providers including GPs and pharmacies may charge an administration fee, so ask about out-of-pocket costs.

Seasonal workers

  • If you are going to high-risk areas for seasonal work, you can have a free JE vaccination, regardless of Medicare status.
  • Your best protection against mosquitoes and the diseases they can carry is to stop mosquito bites.
  • Mozzies can bite through tight clothing. Cover up - wear long, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Use mosquito repellents containing Picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin.
  • Like sunscreen, mosquito repellent is only effective if applied to all exposed skin. Aim to apply a thin, even layer to all exposed skin on top of your sunscreen.
  • It is important to reapply, especially after swimming or sweating as repellents are not water resistant.