Adequate vaccination is effective in preventing tick-borne encephalitis (TBE). A population survey conducted in 2015 in Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Sweden obtained information on TBE vaccination. Respondents answered 10 questions for themselves and household members. Data were weighted according to age and fine-tuned for geographical spread. Across the 10 countries (excluding Poland), TBE awareness was 83%; of all respondents, 68% were aware of TBE vaccines and 25% had ≥1 injections. Vaccination rates were lowest in Finland and Slovakia (∼10%), highest in Austria (85%, results from a separate 2015 survey), and varied widely in Germany. Across the 11 countries (excluding Austria), compliance with vaccination schedule among TBE-vaccinated respondents was 61%; 27% and 15% of respondents received first and second booster injections; strongest motivators for vaccination were fear of TBE (38%) and residence/spending time in high-risk areas (31-35%); main reasons for not receiving vaccination were beliefs that vaccination was unnecessary (33%) and that there was no risk of contracting TBE (23%). TBE vaccine uptake and compliance could be improved with effective public health information to increase TBE awareness and trust in vaccination and by updating recommendations to include all subjects visiting TBE-risk areas.
Keywords: Population survey; TBE vaccines; Tick-borne encephalitis; Vaccination coverage; Vaccines.
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