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In 2006, PATH helped India become the first country outside of China to use a vaccine against Japanese encephalitis, a disease that once regularly killed or disabled tens of thousands of children in Southeast Asia and the Western Pacific.

Follow along during one of the first years of the Japanese encephalitis immunization campaigns in India.

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During the first year of the immunization campaigns, 2006, more than nine million children in India were protected from Japanese encephalitis (JE). In subsequent campaigns, the Government of India reached millions more with vaccine against this viral neurological killer.

Photo: PATH.

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Colorful banners and signs throughout the village tell parents when and where they can bring their children for vaccination.

Photo: PATH.

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Thousands of immunization cards and monitoring forms are set for delivery to local health clinics, community centers, and schools.

Photo: PATH.

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Families line the corridors of vaccination sites, braving long hours and the Indian summer sun for their chance at lifesaving protection.

Photo: PATH.

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Community response was so great at vaccination sites that health workers each administered about 150 vaccinations per day—one injection every four minutes.

Photo: PATH.

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JE is a leading cause of viral disability in Asia, and there is no treatment or cure. Immunization is the best means to control it.

Photo: PATH.

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This plaque-reduction neutralization plate helps researchers at the National Institute of Virology in India confirm the presence of protective antibodies against JE in children who have received the vaccine.

Photo: PATH.

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Rice paddies, prevalent throughout Southeast Asia, may make for a beautiful landscape, but they are also optimal breeding grounds for mosquitos that carry the JE virus.

Photo: PATH.

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After becoming infected as a child, Uttam Patra never fully recovered. His plight reflects the often unseen side of JE—that of those who survive but suffer severe, lifelong disability.

Photo: PATH.

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Thanks to a lifesaving strategy from the Government of India and the contributions of partners at PATH and UNICEF, these children are now free from the threat of JE infection and its consequences.

Photo: PATH.