Field effectiveness of vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis

Vaccine. 2007 Oct 23;25(43):7559-67. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.08.024. Epub 2007 Aug 31.


Tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) is a vaccine-preventable disease caused by a flavivirus (TBE virus) that is endemic in many European countries and large parts of Central and Eastern Asia. In Europe, highly purified formalin-inactivated whole virus vaccines are in widespread use, but the vaccination coverage differs significantly between countries with TBE endemicity. Austria presents an exceptional situation because 88% of the total population have a history of TBE vaccination, with 58% being regularly vaccinated within the recommended schedule. In this study, we investigated the field effectiveness of TBE vaccination in Austria for the years 2000-2006 in different age groups on the basis of the documented numbers of hospitalized cases in unvaccinated and vaccinated people and the sizes of these population groups as revealed by representative inquiries. We show that the overall effectiveness in regularly vaccinated persons is about 99% with no statistically significant difference between age groups. It is at least as high after the first two vaccinations, i.e. before the completion of the basic vaccination scheme by a third vaccination, but is significantly lower (about 95%) in those with a record of irregular vaccination. Our data confirm the excellent performance of TBE vaccine under field conditions and provide evidence that, in Austria, about 2800 cases were prevented by vaccination in the years 2000-2006.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Austria / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Encephalitis Viruses, Tick-Borne / immunology*
  • Encephalitis, Tick-Borne / epidemiology
  • Encephalitis, Tick-Borne / immunology*
  • Encephalitis, Tick-Borne / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Immunization Programs / organization & administration
  • Immunization Schedule
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Middle Aged
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaccination / methods
  • Vaccines, Inactivated / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Inactivated / immunology
  • Viral Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Viral Vaccines / immunology*


  • Vaccines, Inactivated
  • Viral Vaccines