Coyer et al.
Knowledge, attitudes and behaviors regarding tick-borne encephalitis vaccination and prevention of tick-borne diseases among primary care physicians in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany, May-September 2022
Microorganisms. 2023;11(4):961. doi:10.3390/microorganisms11040961
In Germany, most of the TBE cases (about 90%) occur in the federal states Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg, and according to the classification of the Robert Koch Institute, 94 of 96 districts in Bavaria and 43 of 44 districts in Baden-Wuerttemberg are currently assessed TBE risk areas. Nevertheless, the vaccination uptake in Germany is low, even in risk areas (about 20%).
A tick-borne diseases prevention study (TBD-Prev) has been carried out from May to September 2022 to investigate the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of primary care physicians in Bavaria and Baden-Wuerttemberg with regard to TBE vaccination and other TBDs to derive strategies for increasing vaccination rates and improving knowledge about TBE and other TBDs in the population and among primary care physicians. Of 14,046 invited physicians, 2,333 responded (low response rate), of whom 84% had been vaccinated against TBE.
Almost all physicians indicated providing vaccinations in general and TBE vaccinations (97%). The most common method of offered vaccinations were in the context of preventive medical check-ups (89%) and at the active request of patients (80%). Most physicians (89%) regularly checked the vaccination status of patients and reminded them of due vaccinations (84%), including TBE (79%), although fewer used a reminder system (28%).
91% of the physicians indicated to be aware of the vaccination guidelines and 98% perceived their knowledge of the risks and benefits of vaccination as adequate (but the knowledge was not tested in this TBD-Prev survey).
A total of 71% of the physicians indicated already using information material on TBE vaccinations, mostly posters (76%) and flyers (76%), while 24% expressed a further need for information material. Based on this information, materials are currently being developed for distribution and use among physicians and their patients.