- A study conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has revealed that the effect of the vaccine administered to protect children against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) tends to start waning after two years.
- It suggests administering a booster dose to all children in endemic regions to protect them against the viral illness.
- JE, a mosquito-borne virus, mostly affects children below 15 years of age.
- About 25% of affected children die and among survivors about30%-40% suffer from physical and mental impairment.
- In the ICMR study, researchers took blood samples from 266 children aged two to 10 years belonging to one of the JE endemic regions of Uttar Pradesh who had taken two doses of the vaccine and tested them for anti-JE virus-specific antibodies.
- Of the 266 samples, tests revealed, 260 (98%) were negative and 6 (2%) were equivocal.
- The first dose of JE vaccine is usually administered between 9-12 months of age and the second dose administered to children in endemic regions between 16-24 months of age.
SOURCE: THE HINDU, THE ECONOMIC TIMES, PIB