Rabies is a dangerous viral infection endemic to many countries. The rabies vaccine is used to prevent an infection prior to travelling to a high risk area.
About the Vaccine
• When to get vaccinated: You should aim to get your first dose ideally five weeks before travelling to ensure you will be able to complete the course in time.
• Course: The course consists of three vaccines. The second dose is given seven days after the first dose. The third dose should be given three weeks after the second dose.
• Accelerated course: If you’re travelling at short notice, you may be able to have the third dose two weeks after the second.
• Boosters: The rabies vaccine protects you for 10 years. If you are working with animals or are otherwise at a higher risk, more frequent boosters may be recommended.
• How it is given: Injection in the upper arm.
• Side effects: The vaccine can cause mild side effects such as rash, a high temperature, nausea or muscle aches.
• Children: The rabies vaccine can be given from birth.
• Additional precautions: Avoid touching animals while abroad. If you are bitten or scratched by any animal, wash the wound and seek medical attention immediately.
• Risk if you contract the disease: Rabies is usually fatal. There is no cure for rabies.