What is TBE?
TBE is a viral disease that is spread by tick bites. TBE can develop into encephalitis or meningitis. There is no treatment for the disease. The vaccine provides excellent protection against TBE.
Who should be vaccinated?
Vaccination is recommended for anyone who is likely to spend time outdoors in a risk area. Ticks can be found in grass and on bushes, in woods and meadows, for example, but also in gardens with tall grass.
Where are the risk areas for TBE?
Risk areas in Sweden: Sörmland, Uppsala and Stockholm counties, the whole of the Mälar region and round lakes Vättern and Vänern.
Risk areas outside Sweden: Åland, the Baltic states, the Finnish coast, Russia, Central and Eastern Europe, including Germany and the Alps.
TBE vaccination at health centres (vårdcentralerna)
You should get vaccinated early on in the year if you want to be protected when the tick season begins in March/April. Many health centres have special drop-in times for vaccination against TBE. You can also telephone to make an appointment for vaccination.
You will find drop-in times and contact details for the county's health centres on the 1177 Vårdguiden website 1177.se.
How the vaccination works
The basic vaccination consists of three doses of the vaccine during the first year. If you are aged 50 or over, you need to receive four doses of the vaccine during the first year in order to be protected. (This recommendation is new as of 2018.)
After that you will need booster doses. The first of these booster doses must be given after three years, and after that every five years, regardless of your age.
Children can begin the vaccination process from the age of one year.
How much does it cost?
You pay for your own vaccination. The vaccine is free at the health centre for children and young people from the day they turn 3 years old until the year they turn 19 years old.
Protect yourself against ticks - Things you can do at home
Ticks spread the diseases TBE and borrelia (Lyme disease). They thrive in grass and bushes, especially in damp areas. Ticks are active in spring, summer and autumn.
Vaccination provides protection against TBE
Vaccination gives you the best protection against TBE. However, it is not possible to vaccinate against borrelia (Lyme disease).
How to protect yourself from ticks
- Wear boots and clothing that covers you up.
- Check your clothes regularly and brush off any ticks, which can be easily spotted on light-coloured clothing.
- Inspect your entire body if you have been outdoors, and shower and comb your hair. Ticks often go for children’s heads, especially near the ears and at the hairline.
If you get bitten by a tick
What to do if you find a tick somewhere on your body:
- The tick should be removed as soon as possible, preferably using fine-tipped tweezers or a tick removal tool.
- Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and pull it straight out.
- Bathe the wound with disinfectant and wash your hands with soap and water.
- If you were unable to remove the whole of the tick – wait a few days. Usually there will be a slight inflammation, often making it easy to remove the remaining parts with tweezers or a needle.
- Seek medical attention if, for example, you have a temperature or headache, or if you feel unwell in any other way.
You will find further information on TBE on the 1177 Vårdguiden website, 1177.se. There you will also find information on drop-in times and contact details for TBE vaccination at the county’s health centres.