"The health department has already requested the Centre for approval of JE vaccination in the affected districts and the latter has assured to consider it in the light of JE data provided by the department," state epidemiologist L Jampa said in a statement here on Wednesday.

"The immunization division of the government of India will finalize the districts for JE vaccination only after detailed analysis of the data provided by the state government," Jampa said, quoting Dr RK Jaiswal, Nodal Officer for JE under National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP) of the Centre.

Responding to accusations by various organizations for not initiating free vaccination against JE in the state as neighbouring Assam did, Jampa said Assam had reported JE for the first time in 1985 and since then JE had been endemic there and vaccination started thereafter.

"Experience says that the peak time of transmission of JE virus is during the months of June, July and August and vaccination being best given during winter season," he said.

As per research and the guidelines of the Centre, vaccination against JE, if given to a person, takes one to two months time to develop full immunity against it. During any outbreak, one could still get infected by JE virus even after getting vaccinated within one to two months’ time, he said.

"The Health Department has been alive to the situation and active in responding to the situation since the first day the JE case was reported in the state," he said and appealed to all to maintain calm and cooperate with the department in containing further spread of JE.

The department has given focus on control of the vector-mosquito density by carrying out fogging operations and clearing stagnant waters in the drainage system and also restricting movement of pigs, he said.

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