TBE is transmitted by ticks. As explained below, however, the probability of contracting TBE from a tick bite is extremely unlikely. The probability of contracting Borreliosis, on the other hand, is much higher. This is a bacterial disease for which a vaccine was already on the market in the USA. However, it entailed strong adverse effects, so it was taken off the market in 2002.
In Switzerland between 60 123 cases of tick encephalitis are reported ever year. In Germany there are approx. 200 cases every year. In 2005 there were more than 400 cases in Germany, in 2006 there were 547 cases and in Switzerland there were 200 cases in 2005.
The TBE vaccination entails considerable adverse effects. In the past there have been reports of a large number of neurological diseases occurring after TBE vaccinations.
Because of severe complications TBE vaccination was taken off the market in a large number of countries. In the mean time it has been replaced by new vaccines but their harmlessness has not been sufficiently tested yet. There are no long term studies for these vaccines.
"Vaccinating children under three years of age is only indicated if there has been a particularly careful individual benefit risk analysis“ (http://www.PEI.de/professionals/encepur_kinder.pdf). This statement was made by the Paul Ehrlich Institute and indicates that the vaccine is not unproblematic.
In June 2000 the Paul Ehrlich institute published the following statement to doctors as a result of a different TBE vaccine: "The vaccine should only be administered to people who are older than 36 months and who reside in a high-risk area for TBE in accordance with the official recommendation (Original text: "Therapeutic indications: Active immunisation against tick-borne encephalitis - TBE - for subjects older than 36 month of age in high-risk areas as based on official recommendations"). Due to strong adverse effects the manufacturing company refrained from obtaining approval and took it off the market.
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