Schley et al.
Vaccination rate and adherence of tick-borne encephalitis vaccination in Germany
Vaccine 2021, in press, doi.org/10.1016/j.vaccine.2020.12.047
Although effective TBE vaccines have been available for decades, their use is not yet satisfactory. Concerning this matter, new data has recently been published from Switzerland (see Snapshot week 2/2021). Data about vaccination rates for primary immunization from 2012 to 2015 have now also been analyzed in Germany in a retrospective cohort study based on anonymized health claims data.
Initiated TBE primary immunization rates were projected to range from 1.1% in 2013 to 1.5% in 2014 with great differences between Federal States in northern Germany (with low TBE incidences) and those in southern Germany (with high TBE incidences). The percentage of individuals receiving their second and third dose was similar among federal states with 74.6% of those receiving the second injection and 52.7% receiving the third injection. In general, younger age was associated with a higher primary vaccination rate and a higher percentage receiving both, their second and third vaccination. Considering adherence to the vaccination schedule, 66.9% got the second injection within the recommended time interval, while only 27.5% received the third injection as scheduled. 41% received a subsequent booster shot within the defined age-dependent time interval. Vaccination uptake in children at school entry significantly differed between 39.2% in Bavaria (southern Germany) and 3.7% in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (north-eastern Germany).
Higher vaccination rates and adherence may be achieved by raising TBE awareness, and increased information about the potential severity and long-term debilitating sequelae of TBE and its increasing spread to northern and north-eastern regions.