There are currently supply constraints with rabies vaccine in the UK. Rabies Vaccine BP (Sanofi Pasteur) has been discontinued with Rabipur (Valneva) the only licenced rabies vaccine currently available.
While some stock of Rabipur is available, supplies are limited, and clinics may have difficulty in obtaining rabies vaccine.
Enquiries regarding availability of Rabipur should be directed to Valneva’s distributors, Polarspeed:
Rabies is a fatal but preventable disease of the central nervous system caused by the rabies virus. People are infected when saliva from an infected mammal comes into direct contact with broken skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth), usually from a bite, scratch, or lick. Rabies can also be transmitted by bats.
Rabies is invariably fatal once symptoms develop. Only a small number of people with the disease are known to have survived.
All travellers to rabies endemic areas should be advised that:
Further advice is available on prevention against animal bites, including bat bites.
Whilst supplies are limited, clinics might need to consider prioritising pre-exposure vaccine stock for those travellers at highest risk. This is dependent on the risk assessment but may include travellers such as those who are:
If a pre-exposure rabies vaccine course is interrupted or doses delayed due to supply constraints, there is no need to restart a vaccine course.
Travellers may want to consider obtaining rabies vaccine at their destination.
For information relating to post exposure rabies guidance and how to obtain HRIG and rabies vaccine for post exposure treatment, please see the TRAVAX Rabies Post Exposure Guidance page.