Vaccinations, travel medicine & PrEP

What is TBE?

The abbreviation TBE stands for "early summer meningoencephalitis". This is an inflammation of the brain, meninges or spinal cord caused by viruses. These viruses are usually transmitted through tick bites. TBE occurs mainly in southern Germany and the main transmission period is between April and November.

After being bitten by a tick infected with TBE, about one in three people fall ill with flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, vomiting or dizziness. However, in about one in ten sufferers, a second peak of illness involving the central nervous system occurs after about a week. Complications such as paralysis or altered consciousness, even coma, can occur and remain permanent. In Germany, adults aged 40 and over are the most likely to fall ill.

Who and when should be vaccinated?

The Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) recommends vaccination against TBE to all persons who stay or live in TBE areas and could be bitten by ticks. This applies to everyone who frequently spends time in nature: This includes walkers, campers, cyclists, joggers, but also forest workers and agricultural workers. City parks and gardens are also habitats for ticks. TBE vaccination may also be necessary when travelling to foreign countries.

Three vaccinations are required for basic immunisation. According to the usual vaccination schedule, the second vaccination dose is administered one to three months after the first vaccination. A third vaccination is then given after a further 5 to 12 or 9 to 12 months, depending on the vaccine used.
In order to be protected for the current year at the beginning of the tick season from April, it makes sense to start the vaccination series in the winter months.

Booster vaccinations are required after either 3 or 5 years, depending on your age.

How is the vaccination carried out and what must be observed?

The TBE vaccination is an inactivated vaccine. The vaccination is given into your upper arm muscle.

The most common vaccination reactions described are pain, redness or swelling at the injection site. These symptoms also occur with other vaccinations and indicate that the body is dealing with the vaccine.

Within the first four days after vaccination, general symptoms such as increased temperature and fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, malaise or gastrointestinal complaints may occur.

As a rule, the described reactions to the vaccination subside quickly and without consequences. They occur mainly with the first vaccination, less frequently with subsequent vaccinations.

What should I do?

To check whether you have vaccination protection or whether vaccination would be useful, simply make an appointment for a vaccination status check at one of our Avi Medical practices and discuss with our medical team. The team will give you detailed advice on whether you are already protected or whether you should receive a vaccination. The doctors will also check whether there are any other vaccinations that would be useful for you and will carry these out directly if necessary.