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The ACIP Recommends Use for a New Vaccine: Who Needs it?

 Terry Brenneman, MD

Terry Brenneman, MD

The FDA recently approved a vaccine marketed under the brand name Ticovac (tick-borne encephalitis vaccine, Pfizer) to prevent tick-borne encephalitis (TBE) virus. It has been in use in Europe for more than 20 years but was not approved for use in the US nor did the Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommendations for its use.

The ACIP in November for the first time released written recommendations for use of the vaccine in persons traveling to endemic areas where the risk for exposure to tick bites is high. This viral illness has no specific treatment and can lead to permanent neurologic damage and even death. Fortunately, it is rare.

1. Which of the following areas are considered endemic for the TBE virus?

2. How do you counsel someone who is planning a trip to Austria for 3 weeks; what factors do you need to take into account in the decision process?

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