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Vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis (TBE)

Published Updated

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health recommends that people who spend much time in areas with a known risk of TBE infection should consider vaccination against TBE.

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The recommendation applies especially to people who are often bitten by ticks. Based on current knowledge, the risk of TBE infection by tick bites in Norway is greatest in coastal areas in Vest-Agder, Aust-Agder, Telemark, Vestfold and Buskerud counties, as well as in adjacent geographical areas. 

  • It is advisable to start vaccination in the spring, well before the tick season. 
  • The vaccine may be obtained with referral from a physician. It will not be reimbursed. 
  • The vaccination consists of 3 doses where the first 2 are given with a 1-3 month interval. This interval can be reduced to 14 days if quick protection is required. The third dose should be given before the next season (after 5-12 months). 
  • After the first dose is given, a partial protection develops in the course of two weeks and is short-lived. Protection after two doses is 90 %, and the third dose provides about 97 % protection. 
  • With a need for continued protection, a booster dose is given after 3 years and then every 3 to 5 years. For people over 60, the interval between booster doses should not exceed 3 years.
  • The vaccine can be given to people over one year old.

TBE should not be confused with the bacterial illness Lyme disease (Lyme borreliosis), which is also transmitted through tick bites. There is no vaccine against Lyme disease.

Other preventive measures:

The most important preventive measures are to avoid being bitten by ticks and to remove ticks promptly.