The Assam government on Tuesday launched an immunisation drive against Japanese Encephalitis (JE) for the 15-65 age group, targeting to cover 40.17 lakh people.
Over 60 people had died of JE in the state last year, with the infection reported from almost all the districts.
Formally starting the vaccination drive from Sonapur District Hospital in Kamrup (Metropolitan) district, state Health Minister Keshab Mahanta urged the people to cooperate for ensuring the success of the inoculation programme.
Referring to the positive response to the COVID-19 vaccination drive in Assam, he said the government expects a similar response now.
“In Assam, so far 2 crore people have taken the first dose of COVID vaccine, while the cumulative figure of people taking either or both doses is 2.65 crore. After this massive response to COVID vaccines, we hope the people will come forward for the JE vaccine too,” Mahanta said.
Earlier, children in the 1-15 group were given JE vaccines in the state and following a nod from the Central government, it is being extended to people in the 15-65 age group.
Areas under 99 development circles that have reported a high number of JE cases in the past are being covered on a priority basis, the minister said.
The JE virus is spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito.
Director of Health Services (Family Welfare) Munindra Ngatey said people who have taken the COVID-19 vaccine can get the JE jab after a gap of 28 days.
Similarly, a person who takes the JE vaccine can take the COVID vaccine after 28 days, he added.
In the same programme, the health minister flagged off 40 ‘Covid Vaccine Express’, donated by an NGO, for remote areas in nine districts of the state.
The ‘Covid Vaccine Express’ comprises 28 mobile vans and 12 boats. PTI