Tick-borne encephalitis vaccine

Tick-borne encephalitis vaccine
Vaccine description
Target disease Tick-borne encephalitis virus
Type Killed/Inactivated
Clinical data
ATC code J07BA01 (WHO)
ChemSpider none
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Tick-borne encephalitis vaccine is a vaccine used to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE).[1] The disease is most common in Central and Eastern Europe, and Northern Asia. More than 87% of people who receive the vaccine develop immunity.[2] It is not useful following the bite of an infected tick. It is given by injection into a muscle.[1]

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends immunizing all people in areas where the disease is common. Otherwise the vaccine is just recommended for those who are at high risk. Three doses are recommended followed by additional doses every three to five years. The vaccines can be used in people more than one or three years of age depending on the formulation.[1]

Serious side effects are very uncommon. Minor side effects may include fever, and redness and pain at the site of injection. Older formulations were more commonly associated with side effects. The vaccine appears to be safe during pregnancy.[1]

The first vaccine against TBE was developed in 1937.[1] It is on the World Health Organization's List of Essential Medicines, the most important medication recommended for a basic health system.[3] Per dose it costs between 50 and 70 British Pounds in the United Kingdom.[4] The vaccine is not available in the United States.[5]

Medical uses

The efficacy of these vaccines has been well documented.[1] They have also been shown to protect mice from a lethal challenge with several TBE-virus isolates obtained over a period of more than 30 years from all over Europe and the Asian part of the former Soviet Union. In addition, it has been demonstrated that antibodies induced by vaccination of human volunteers neutralized all tested isolates.


Two to three doses are recommended depending on the formulation. Typically one to three months should occur between the first doses followed by five to twelve months before the final dose. Additional doses are then recommended every three to five years.[1]


The first vaccine against TBE was prepared in 1937 in the brains of mice. Some 20 years later TBE vaccines derived from cell cultures (chicken embryo fibroblast cells) were developed and used for active immunization in humans in the former Soviet Union. Later, a purified, inactivated virus vaccine was developed which proved to be more immunogenic than previous TBE vaccines.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Vaccines against tick-borne encephalitis: WHO position paper." (PDF). Releve epidemiologique hebdomadaire / Section d'hygiene du Secretariat de la Societe des Nations = Weekly epidemiological record / Health Section of the Secretariat of the League of Nations. 86 (24): 241–56. 10 June 2011. PMID 21661276.
  2. Demicheli V, Debalini MG, Rivetti A (2009). "Vaccines for preventing tick-borne encephalitis". Cochrane Database Syst Rev (1): CD000977. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD000977.pub2. PMID 19160184.
  3. "19th WHO Model List of Essential Medicines (April 2015)" (PDF). WHO. April 2015. Retrieved May 10, 2015.
  4. "Tick-borne encephalitis - Prevention". 2015-10-15. Retrieved 15 December 2015.
  5. "3: Infectious Diseases Related to Travel". CDC Health Information for International Travel 2016. Oxford University Press. June 1, 2015. ISBN 978-0199379156.
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