There is now abundant evidence that vaccination with defined protein antigens is able to induce significant immunity to tick infestation. In a limited number of cases, this immunity has been duplicated by vaccination with recombinant antigens, a critical step on the pathway to commercial vaccine production. The existence of two commercial vaccines has allowed a number of field studies showing that the existing products can make an important contribution to an integrated approach to the control of ticks in the field. Under most circumstances however, the use of a tick vaccine as the single, stand alone control technology is likely to require more efficacious vaccines than those currently available. Increases in efficacy are most likely to come through the discovery of additional, effective vaccine antigens. The number of antigens with demonstrated effect is increasing, though only slowly, while the number of potential antigens that remain to be evaluated is increasing more quickly. There is limited, though convincing, evidence that some of these antigens will show effective cross-species protection, though in a poorly understood and unpredictable way. The groundwork has been laid; the potential of the field is still to be effectively exploited.