Survey shows: Willingness to vaccinate among Germans is sometimes very high – TBE vaccination, on the other hand, is often neglected despite the RKI recommendation / Take precautions against ticks now

Pfizer Pharma GmbH

Berlin (ots)

The willingness of Germans to vaccinate seems to depend on the perceived personal risk of infection. Almost every German is vaccinated against tetanus (91 percent).¹ Against the tick-borne viruses of tick-borne encephalitis (FSME), on the other hand, only every third person (31 percent) is vaccinated. And this despite the fact that 98 percent of Germans are aware of the dangers of tick bites. This is confirmed by a representative survey by the opinion research institute Civey on behalf of Pfizer. The Robert Koch Institute currently identifies more than 40 percent of all rural and urban districts in Germany as so-called TBE risk areas. TBE cannot be cured with medication and can even be fatal in severe cases.

Ticks can also transmit the TBE virus outside of TBE risk areas. Therefore, the right preventive care, for example through vaccination, is important nationwide. But the survey shows: Although almost every German (98 percent) knows about the dangers of tick bites, only just under 44 percent of them take appropriate precautionary measures. Every third person who does not take precautions even believes that they will not come into contact with ticks at all outside. The bloodsuckers lurk not only in meadows and in forests, but also in city parks, on sports fields and in house gardens. And: Ticks usually bite unnoticed; quick removal of a sucking tick that carries the TBE virus does not prevent infection. Vaccination is the best protection against TBE.

TBE vaccination protection is also possible at short notice

TBE is a viral infection that can lead to inflammation of the meninges and central nervous system. The Standing Vaccination Commission (STIKO) recommends TBE vaccination for people in TBE risk areas who can come into contact with ticks there. “Anyone who needs vaccination protection for the current tick season can use a quick vaccination schedule,” adds travel medicine specialist Prof. Dr. medical Tomas Jelinek. “The best thing to do is get advice from your family doctor.” Since ticks can also transmit other pathogens, such as Borrelia, tick bites should be prevented. We recommend wearing long clothing, spraying with anti-tick spray and thoroughly searching your body after every stay in the countryside.

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¹ Survey conditions: The opinion research company Civey surveyed 5,000 people on behalf of Pfizer Pharma GmbH between 04.04. and interviewed on April 11, 2022. The results are representative for the German population aged 18 and over. The statistical error of the overall results is 2.5 percent.

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