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TBE (Tick-borne encephalitis) vaccination

Public vaccination recommendation for TBE


In Germany STIKO recommends TBE vaccinations for people who live in risk areas and for whom there is a risk of being bit by a tick. Due to the fact that more than 15 percent of people who have contracted TBE outside of where they live, STIKO includes people who live or work in risk areas and for whom there is a risk of contracting a tick bite. As more than 15% of people who have contracted an TBE infection do this outside of the area of where they live STIKO also includes people who are in risk areass foWürttemberg or Bavaria, can bear an infection risk which can be minimized by getting vaccinated.” (EB 2007,15).



TBE Vaccine

TBE viruses which have been bred on chicken egss plus Aluminiumhydroxid, thimerosal, formaldehyde, antibiotics (according to the manufacturer). There is the danger of triggering an allergy as a result of traces of chicken egg white. The vaccine must be administered three times in total.


Vaccine protection has not been proven  100%.

This is what the Social Security Association for Farmers in Austria reports, that there was not a significant drop in cases of TBE despite the fact that between 1984 and 1995 there was a rise in vaccination rates against TBE (ZiegelbeckerR., Graz, 12.6.1997)

To date the manufacturer has still to provide a controlled trial which would prove effectivity of the TBE vaccination (Plotkin &Orenstein, Vaccines, Sauders Press, 3rd edition, 1999)

Side effects, vaccination complications and vaccination damages of the TBE vaccination

In quite a few countries TBE vaccinations were taken off the market as a result of severe complications. In the mean time they have been replaced by new vaccines which have also not been sufficiently tested. There are no long term trials for these vaccines.

Aside from local reactions at the injection site there can be fever, headaches, allergic reactions and joint pain. What is worse is a weakening of the immune system, meningitis, paralysis and Guillain Barrße Syndrome (nerve disease).

Meningitis occurs very frequently in TBE vaccines, one in 1000 doses. If the three vaccinations that are recommended are carried out the risk rises drastically..(Martin Hirte: Impfen : Pro& Contra S. 248).

Arzneitelegramm  reported in 1995 that the vaccination can trigger episodes of autoimmune diseases and cases of MS have also been reported after vaccinations (AT Arzneitelegramm Multiple Sklerose nach TBE Impfung AT 19953:32)

The absolute number of neurological complications is unfortunately not known. The package insert of ENCEPR states the following: „In individual cases afflictions of the central and peripheral nerve system, paralysis including respiratory paralysis (Guillain-Barré-Syndrom). According to what we know today it cannot be excluded that if there is an autoimmune disease (e.g. MS or Lupus erythematodes) or if there is the appropriate genetic disposition in rare cases there can be an episode of the disease after the vaccination.”

The information provided for the TBE vaccine Immun sounds similar: “Very rarely inflammation of the nerves of various degrees of severity … in some cases inflammatory reaction of the brain. As with every stimulation of the immune system there can be an unfavorable influence on an autoimmune disease such as MS or Iridocyklitis.”

On July 13 2007 arznei-telegramm  published the following statements in Heft 7/2007 on TBE vaccinations: There are no trials that directly compare benefit and damages of TBE vaccines that are on the market (ENCEPUR, TBE IMMUN).
Current vaccines seem to be tolerated better than the prior vaccines which had to be taken off the market due to incompatibility (a-t 2001; 32: 41-3). But even in connection with newer products there are reports of suspicions of severe vaccination complications, including seizures. In areas with a low infection risk the risk as a result of the vaccination may be greater than as a result of the infection. If people spend time outdoors in risk areas the benefit risk consideration seems positive for older people. However, there is no “hard” evidence from trials with clinical endpoints.

TBE vaccine: adverse effects in children

"Vaccinating children who are three years and younger can only be recommended if risks and benefits are considered particularly carefully.” ( This statement made by the Paul Ehrlich Institute  indicates that the vaccine is not unproblematic. In June 2000 the following statement was published on a different TBE vaccine for doctors by the   Paul Ehrlich Institut: "The vaccine may only be administered to people who are older than 36 months and who spend time in official TBE high risk areas (Original text: "Therapeutic indications: Active immunization against tick-borne encephalitis - TBE - for subjects older than 36 month of age in high-risk areas as based on official recommendations"). Due to marked adverse effects the manufacturer did not continue to pursue approval and took the medication from the market. In the meantime this vaccine has been replaced by other vaccines.

arznei-telegramm in its 7/2007, edition wrote that "children are only at minimal risk from TBE, even though they probably have more contact with ticks than adults (aside from small children)… lasting neurological damages are rare (a-t 2002; 33: 26), adverse effects to vaccines, however, are frequent: 28% of one to two-year-olds and 7% of three to five-year-olds react to TBE-IMMUN JUNIOR by developing a fever of 38-39° Celsius, 3% and 0.6% have temperatures of 39.1-40° Celsius. Headaches are very frequent. Neuritis, encephalitis, etc, occur. It seems superfluous to vaccinate children against TBE in Germany. regularly publishes reports of vaccination reactions/vaccination damages after TBE vaccinations. You will find these under side effects of TBE vaccination.(search the database: side effects TBE Vaccine)

Reported cases:
vaccindamage database

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