Rabies Vaccines

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Last reviewed
January 7, 2022

Rabies Vaccines

Rabies vaccines prevent rabies before and after exposure to the rabies virus, commonly caused by a bat bite in the Americas.

There are several rabies vaccines available that are both safe and effective. In addition, rabies vaccines can be used to prevent rabies, which can be a fatal disease, says the U.S. CDC.

Unlike the conventional, inactivated rabies vaccine, live-attenuated viruses are genetically modified viruses that can replicate in an inoculated recipient without causing adverse effects while still eliciting robust and effective immune responses against rabies virus viral infection.

Rabies Vaccines - Approved

Chirorab, previously known as Rabipur, is an inactivated rabies virus of Flury LEP. Chiron Behring Vaccines is re-launching Rabipur, a purified chick embryo cell vaccine. It will continue to be manufactured at its WHO pre-qualified facility in Ankleshwar Gujarat, India.

Imovax Rabies is an inactivated vaccine made from an attenuated rabies virus. It is a sterile, stable, freeze-dried suspension of Rabies Vaccine Inactivated virus prepared from WISTAR Rabies PM/WI 38 1503-3M strain.

RabAvert is a vaccine that contains an inactivated rabies antigen. Bavarian Nordic's RabAvert vaccine is indicated for preexposure vaccination, primary and booster doses, and postexposure prophylaxis against rabies in all age groups.

Rabivax-S is a lyophilized vaccine manufactured by Serum Institute of India Pvt. Ltd., containing inactivated purified rabies antigen. Rabivax-S has been developed on Vero ATCC CCL81 cells using the Pitman Moore strain. It is an inactivated vaccine that is freeze-dried until ready for immunization.

Importation of Dogs

After October 14, 2021, dogs coming from high-risk countries with U.S. CDC Dog Import Permits must enter only at approved ports of entry.

Rabies Vaccine News

January 7, 2022 - The U.S. CDC published Notes from the Field: Three Human Rabies Deaths Attributed to Bat Exposures — United States, August 2021.

October 29, 2021 - South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture and Rural Development confirmed that six people have died. Three rabies infections were lab-confirmed, and three were diagnosed based on symptoms.

September 30, 2021 - The U.S. CDC issued Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions for an ongoing rabies outbreak in Haiti. The annual dog vaccination campaigns have been interrupted in Haiti, and health officials have reported an increase of rabies in dogs there. 

September 28, 2021 - The Illinois Department of Public Health reported the first human case of rabies and related fatality in Illinois since 1954. A Lake County resident in his 80s awoke to a bat on his neck. The bat was captured and tested positive for rabies. The individual was advised he needed to start postexposure rabies treatment but declined. One month later, the individual began experiencing symptoms consistent with rabies, including neck pain, headache, difficulty controlling his arms, finger numbness, and difficulty speaking.

September 28, 2021 - The World Rabies Day (WRD), established by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control and recognized by the World Health Organization, is celebrated every September 28 to remind that preventing animal rabies does protect not only animal health but also the health of humans and the environment. In this regard, the theme chosen for the WRD this year is "Rabies: facts, not fear," highlighting the importance of raising awareness on the disease, vaccinating the animal population, and educating people on the danger of rabies and how to prevent it.

September 10, 2021 - A cat tested positive for rabies in the Town of Marcy, NY. The cat was sent to the New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center for testing on September 7, 2021, and positive results were reported the following day. Two people were exposed to the cat and received post-exposure prophylaxis. Two dogs were also exposed to the cat.

February 26, 2021 - The U.S. CDC's ACIP Committee voted during a digital meeting to reduce the recommendation for rabies PrEP to a two-dose vaccine schedule, aligning with international guidance. The WHO also recommends a two-dose vaccination schedule.

February 13, 2021 - Researchers found an existing rabies treatment known as KEDRAB to be safe and effective for patients aged 17 and under. This study demonstrates that HRIG150 is well tolerated and effective in pediatric patients as a PEP component. This study is the first to establish pediatric safety and efficacy of HRIG in the U.S. to the authors' knowledge.

February 6, 2021 - The Lancet published an editorial: Time to revise the Gavi funding strategy of rabies vaccine? However, 'In the long term, eliminating almost all human rabies could only be achieved by comprehensive vaccination of stray dogs.'

January 27, 2021 - The South Padre Island Animal Control Division city assisted the Texas Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control Division with the Oral Rabies Vaccination Program. The city said the program aims to reduce the dog strain of rabies carried by coyotes in Texas. Vaccination for rabies will be distributed around the town in non-populated areas that attract coyotes.