TicoVac and TicoVac junior are vaccines against tick-borne encephalitis. They contain inactivated tick-borne encephalitis virus. The vaccine works by stimulating the body's immune response to the tick-borne encephalitis virus, without actually causing the disease.
When the body is exposed to foreign organisms such as viruses, the immune system produces antibodies against them. These antibodies help the immune system to recognise and kill the foreign organisms. Each foreign organism causes the body to produce a different type of antibody that only recognises that specific invader.
The antibodies formed remain in the body and recognise any future infection with the same organism. This allows the immune system to attack the organism rapidly and so prevent it causing disease. This protection from infections is known as immunity.
Immunity can be produced artificially by giving vaccines. A vaccine is a bacteria, bacterial toxin or virus that has been inactivated or altered in some way so that it does not cause disease. However, because the body recognises the vaccine as a foreign invader, it produces antibodies against it in the same way as it would against the genuine infecting organism. If the body then encounters the genuine infecting organism it is already prepared and can launch an attack against it rapidly.
Each organism stimulates the production of a specific type of antibody, so a different vaccine must be used for each disease. This tick-borne encephalitis vaccine stimulates the body to produce antibodies against the virus that causes tick-borne encephalitis. This virus is transmitted by bites from ticks found mainly in rural areas of Russia, Central and Eastern Europe and Japan. The vaccine is recommended for people travelling to high-risk areas, for example people working, walking or camping in warm forested areas of Central and Eastern Europe and Scandinavia, particularly from April to October when ticks are most prevalent.
The vaccine is given by injection into a muscle of the upper arm (intramuscularly). Three doses are needed. The second dose is given between one and three months after the first dose (but if necessary to acheive more rapid protection can be given after 14 days). The third dose should follow 5 to 12 months after the second dose. Two doses of the vaccine provide protection in 90 per cent of people, while almost 100 per cent of people should be protected after three doses. Ideally, the immunisation should be completed at least one month before travel.
Some vaccines remain effective for a lifetime, while others have to be updated after a few years. The three initial doses of this vaccine provide immunity against tick-bourne encephalitis for three years, after which time a booster dose will be needed to provide continued protection. Further boosters may then be needed every three years to provide continued immunity. This can be checked by measuring the levels of antibodies in the blood.
This vaccine should not be used if you are allergic to one or any of its ingredients. Please inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have previously experienced such an allergy.If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction after having this vaccine, inform your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
Certain vaccines should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding. However, other vaccines may be safely used in pregnancy or breastfeeding providing the benefits to the mother outweigh the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before having any vaccine.
Vaccines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. The following are some of the side effects that are known to be associated with this vaccine. Just because a side effect is stated here does not mean that all people having this vaccine will experience that or any side effect.
The side effects listed above may not include all of the side effects reported by the vaccine's manufacturer.For more information about any other possible risks associated with this vaccine, please read the information provided with the vaccine or consult your doctor or pharmacist.
People taking medicines that suppress the activity of the immune system, such as chemotherapy, high-dose corticosteroids, or immunosuppressants (for example used following an organ transplant), may not produce adequate numbers of antibodies in response to this vaccine. As a result, the vaccine may be less effective in these people.
If other vaccines are given at the same time as this one they should be administered into a separate site and preferably into a different limb.