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    Vaccination as a highly effective measure to protect against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) comes into new focus as known risk areas are expanding across Europe and Asia. Here we present an online household survey conducted in 20 European countries spanning endemic and non-endemic regions of TBE in 2020. With a comprehensive and standardized list of questions, this survey provided a unique opportunity to compare TBE/TBE vaccine awareness, TBE severity perception, vaccine uptake, vaccination completeness/compliance and motivators/barriers for vaccination across Europe. Among the 51,478 participants, tetanus- (72-92%), influenza- (83-98%), and measles-awareness (79-96%) were highest, but awareness was low for Lyme borreliosis, bacterial meningitis and pneumococcal pneumonia. Awareness towards TBE and a TBE vaccine was 74% and 56% in endemic countries, respectively, compared to 30% and 12% in non-endemic countries. Vaccine uptake defined as at least one TBE vaccination was found to be highly heterogenous across both endemic (range 7-81%) and non-endemic countries (range 1-8%). Compliance with the recommended vaccination schedule was 21% for the primary vaccination series and dropped to 7% for the first booster vaccination in endemic countries. The percentage of participants protected against TBE by vaccination at the time of the survey ranged from 21% in Slovakia to 69% in Lithuania. The perception of personal risk or lack thereof was found to be the most influencing factor for and against TBE vaccination. Overall, these data indicate highly heterogenous responses in different European countries regarding not only awareness towards a TBE vaccine, but also regarding TBE vaccine uptake and compliance. Regionally focused strategies to increase diagnostic completeness as well as TBE vaccination are needed across Europe. Copyright © 2022. Published by Elsevier GmbH.


    Andreas Pilz, Wilhelm Erber, Heinz-Josef Schmitt. Vaccine uptake in 20 countries in Europe 2020: Focus on tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). Ticks and tick-borne diseases. 2023 Jan;14(1):102059

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    PMID: 36410164

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