Preventing encephalitis 

MMR vaccine

The most effective way to protect against encephalitis is to make sure that you receive the MMR vaccine (for measles, mumps and rubella).

The first MMR vaccination should be given to all children at around 13 months of age, with a booster dose given before they start school (between three and five years old). Between 5 and 10% of children are not fully immune after the first dose, so the booster jab increases protection and results in less than 1% of children remaining at risk.

Other vaccinations

Vaccinations are also available for Japanese encephalitis and tick-borne encephalitis, which are two types of encephalitis that are spread by insects (for more information see encephalitis - causes).

In England, these types of encephalitis are virtually non-existent, but they are widespread in certain parts of the world, such as in Africa and Asia. Therefore it is a good idea to discuss vaccinations for these types of encephalitis with your GP before travelling to these areas.

See the Health A-Z topics about Japanese encephalitis - vaccination and tick-borne encephalitis - prevention for more information and advice about taking precautionary measures against these types of encephalitis.

Page last reviewed: 21/03/2011

Next review due: 21/03/2013