Effectiveness of TBE vaccination in southern Germany and Latvia

Wilhelm Erber (Coresponding Author), Farid Khan, Dace Zavadska, Zane Freimane, Gerhard Dobler, Merle M. Böhmer, Luis Jodar, Heinz Josef Schmitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Background: Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a vaccine-preventable disease which may cause long-term sequelae and even death. The data on the long-term effectiveness of TBE vaccines are limited. Additionally, the vaccination schedule is complex which in part contributes towards sub-optimal uptake in TBE-endemic areas. The current ecological study measures vaccine effectiveness (VE) in two European countries. Methods: TBE VE was measured from 2007 to 2018 in Latvia and Southern German states by age group, vaccination history, and schedule compliance. TBE cases and vaccination history were obtained from the public health agencies for Latvia and the southern German federal states of Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg. Cases were “within schedule” if a TBE infection was diagnosed within the time interval preceding the next scheduled dose and “outside schedule” if the diagnosis occurred after the next scheduled dose. Vaccine uptake was estimated via representative nationwide surveys. Results: VE after 2, 3, and ≥4 doses was high in both countries at 97.2%, 95.0%, and 95.4% for southern Germany, and 98.1%, 99.4%, and 98.8% for Latvia while within- schedule, and only showed marginal differences outside schedule at 90.6%, 89.9%, and 95.6% for southern Germany, and 97.4%, 98.4%, and 99.0% for Latvia regardless of age groups. Conclusions: In both countries, VE after two and three primary doses within-schedule was very high in all age groups. Once receiving booster doses, high VE continued to be observed even in persons with extended intervals since the last dose received, suggesting that longer and more flexible booster intervals may be considered for sustainable long-term protection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)819-825
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2022


  • Age groups
  • TBE
  • Tick-borne encephalitis
  • Vaccination schedule
  • Vaccine effectiveness

Field of Science*

  • 3.1 Basic medicine
  • 3.3 Health sciences

Publication Type*

  • 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database


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