Rieck et al.
Vaccination rates of children in Germany – current results of the RKI’s vaccination surveillance
[Impfquoten von Kinderschutzimpfungen in Deutschland – aktuelle Ergebnisse aus der RKI-Impfsurveillance]
Epid Bull. 2021;49:6-29. doi: 10.25646/93355

Every year, the Robert Koch-Institut (RKI) analyzes and publishes the vaccination rate of children and adolescents based on data summarized from surveys of the first day of school and based on data from the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians. For the first time, TBE vaccination rates have in detail been analyzed in German TBE risk areas for individuals under 18 years of age.

The assessment of the vaccination rates was based on complete vaccination schedules – three injections for primary vaccination followed by a booster after three or five years, depending on age. The data present the vaccination rates of the federal states and their 161 counties defined as TBE risk areas.

Great differences were found in the vaccination rates for individuals under 18 years of age – from 13.3% to 50.5% in counties defined as risk areas. A reduction in the vaccination rates was observed for the federal states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, Bavaria, Hesse and Thuringia in recent years.

In 2019, the vaccination rates were 33.5% in Bavaria, 22.6% in Baden-Wuerttemberg, 17.5% in Thuringia, 18.8% in Hesse and 12.9% in Saarland. In 2014, a TBE risk area was for the first time declared in Saxony where the vaccination rate increased from 17.4% to 28.5% by 2017. In Lower Saxony, a TBE risk area was for the first time declared in 2019, and here the vaccination rate was 13.8%.

In all federal states, the vaccination rates increased until the age of five to six years, but then decreased due to missing booster vaccinations.

The authors discuss that TBE antibody concentrations persist for 10 years or even longer after a complete basic immunization and that protection may be expected also in the case that the booster vaccination is delayed.

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