Vaccines against Tick-borne Encephalitis

Tick-borne encephalitis is an extremely dangerous viral infection spread by ticks. This disease can lead to serious inflammation of the central nervous system, long-term residual effects, or even death. In Lithuania, ticks are widespread and there has been an increase in new cases of tick-borne encephalitis in the last decade, mostly linked to a growing tick population due to warmer winters. Contrary to common belief, exposure to this disease isn't only possible in the wilderness. In recent years, more cases are being recorded in cities, mostly in parks or urban forests. Young ticks (nymphs) can easily latch onto and bite unnoticed, causing tick-borne encephalitis or Lyme disease, even without venturing into the wilderness. The vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis is the most effective prevention measure against this dangerous disease.

Ticovac 2.4 mcg (for individuals older than 16 years)
36 €
Ticovac 1.2 mcg (for individuals younger than 16 years)
35 €
Tick-borne encephalitis IgG
13 €
Tick-borne encephalitis IgM
13 €
Lyme disease (borreliosis) IgG
20 €
Lyme disease (WB) IgG
35 €
Lyme disease (WB) IgM
35 €
Post-vaccination tick-borne encephalitis IgG
30 €

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Diagnosing tick-borne encephalitis is challenging, as its symptoms can emerge when the disease is already advanced or may not be specific – similar to symptoms of other diseases. If you suspect that you may have contracted tick-borne encephalitis, immediately consult with your family doctor. The test for tick-borne encephalitis is based on detecting classes M and G immunoglobulins (IgM and IgG) in serum. IgM antibodies begin to be produced from day 3–5 after infection and can remain in the body for up to 2–3 months. IgG antibodies appear later, from day 7–10 of the disease, and can remain for life. Precise diagnosis of tick-borne encephalitis also relies on patient history, clinical symptoms, and lab tests.


Vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis is the most effective defense against this disease. You can get vaccinated at any time, but it’s recommended to do so before the warm season, when tick activity is lowest. Vaccination can follow the usual schedule or an accelerated one, the latter being recommended during the warm season.

Standard vaccination schedule against tick-borne encephalitis:

  • 1st dose;
  • 2nd dose – 1–3 months after the first;
  • 3rd dose – 5–12 months after the second;
  • 1st booster dose – 3 years after the third;
  • Other booster doses – every 3–5 years (every 5 years for those under 60, and every 3 years for those over 60).

Accelerated vaccination schedule against tick-borne encephalitis:

  • 1st dose;
  • 2nd dose – 14 days after the first;
  • 3rd dose – 5–12 months after the second;
  • 1st booster dose – 3 years after the third;
  • Other booster doses – every 3–5 years (as per the standard vaccination schedule).


How can the risk of tick-borne encephalitis be reduced? The most reliable method to prevent tick-borne encephalitis is vaccination. However, daily preventive actions can also protect you from the primary disease vectors – ticks and mosquitoes:

  • Avoid areas with high tick and mosquito populations – do not walk in forests, meadows, and parks without protective measures.
  • When spending time outdoors, use repellents on your skin and clothing to deter ticks and mosquitoes.
  • Create a physical barrier between your skin and ticks – wear long clothes and high boots.
  • After returning from a walk in nature, inspect your body for any attached ticks.
  • If symptoms are felt and a tick has been attached for more than 24 hours, seek medical help immediately.

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Side effects of the Tick-Borne Encephalitis Vaccine

In some cases, there may be mild side effects after receiving the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine. The most common side effects include:

  • Pain or swelling at the injection site;
  • Headache or muscle pain;
  • Mild fever;
  • Feelings of fatigue or irritability;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • Digestive tract disorders, such as nausea or diarrhea;
  • Decreased blood pressure;
  • Skin rashes;
  • Restless sleep (mostly in young children);
  • Allergic reactions (extremely rare).

Although there may be reactions to the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine, the benefits of being vaccinated against a potentially fatal disease significantly outweigh these minor and temporary symptoms. You can get vaccinated according to both regular and accelerated vaccination schedules. To acquire immunity against tick-borne encephalitis, it is essential to receive three doses of the vaccine and not to forget booster shots every 3-5 years.

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Frequently Asked Questions

01.When is the best time to get the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine?
The optimal time to start the vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis is during colder months when tick activity is at its lowest, usually in the fall or winter. This method allows your body to develop immunity before the warmer period begins, when the tick population increases and the risk of contracting tick-borne encephalitis significantly rises. Remember that it takes several weeks to form immunity after the initial dose. However, if you did not manage to get vaccinated during the cold period of the year, you can do so at any time of the year, but it is recommended to follow an accelerated schedule. Protection against tick-borne encephalitis is very important all year round, especially for people spending time in nature, including urban green spaces.
02.Are tick-borne encephalitis vaccines effective?
Absolutely, vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis is a very effective prevention measure. Studies show that the effectiveness of the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine is about 96% after primary vaccination (three doses). This means that a strong immune response develops in most vaccinated individuals, significantly reducing the risk of tick-borne encephalitis after a tick bite. However, to ensure maximum protection, it is essential to adhere to the recommended vaccination schedule, including revaccinations. Although no vaccine provides 100% protection, the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine is the most reliable way to protect against this potentially severe disease.
03.How many doses are required for tick-borne encephalitis vaccination?
Primary vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis usually consists of three doses. The first two doses are administered with a 1–3 month interval, and the third one is given 5–12 months after the second dose. This initial vaccine series ensures robust immunity against tick-borne encephalitis. However, to maintain a high level of immunity, revaccination is necessary. The first revaccination is recommended three years after the initial series, and subsequently every 3–5 years, depending on age and exposure risk. It's very important to adhere to this schedule to ensure optimal and long-term protection against tick-borne encephalitis.
04.When does the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine start to work?
The tick-borne encephalitis vaccine begins to provide some level of immunity after the first dose. However, protection significantly increases after the second dose, which is usually given 1-3 months after the first dose. Full immunity typically develops after the third dose, which is administered 5–12 months after the second dose. This timeline varies slightly among individuals and is influenced by factors such as age, health status, and individual immune response. Regardless, it's important to note that immunity may decrease over time, requiring regular revaccination to ensure continuous protection.
05.How often should the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine be renewed?
The need for revaccination doses of the tick-borne encephalitis vaccine depends on a person's age and the initial vaccination schedule applied. Typically, after the initial series of three injections, the first revaccination is recommended after three years. For those under 60, revaccination is recommended every five years, while for those aged 60 and above, revaccination should occur every three years. This ensures continuous immunity against tick-borne encephalitis. The frequency of revaccination arises from the fact that immunity may weaken over time, making individuals more susceptible to the disease without regular booster shots.
06.Is tick-borne encephalitis curable?
Tick-borne encephalitis is a viral infection and, like many viral infections, it has no specific treatment. The management of this disease is symptomatic, meaning treatments are used to alleviate symptoms and assist the body in fighting the infection. Measures most often used to relieve symptoms of tick-borne encephalitis include: fever and pain reducing medications, IV therapy (for fluid and electrolyte replenishment), and in severe cases, patients are hospitalized if they require intensive care. Vaccination is the best strategy against tick-borne encephalitis, as it equips the body with necessary defenses to combat the virus before it can cause severe illness.