News & Announcements

Rabies Vaccine: Current Situation

Posted: September 7, 2012
Updated: September 11, 2012

Current Situation

  • Rabies vaccine for pre-exposure use is available only from wholesale distributors who have existing stocks of RabAvert vaccine from Novartis.
  • At this time, there are no limitations in the supply of rabies immune globulin or vaccine for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).
  • Sanofi Pasteur, maker of IMOVAX (Rabies Vaccine), is currently unable to directly supply rabies vaccine for pre-exposure vaccination.
  • Sanofi Pasteur will continue to supply rabies vaccine for PEP to health care providers who are treating patients who have had documented rabies exposures.
  • Novartis, makers of RabAvert (Rabies Vaccine), is also currently unable to directly supply rabies vaccine for pre-exposure vaccination.
  • Additional lots of RabAvert and IMOVAX are expected to be released in the coming months. These lots are expected to return supplies to normal levels.
  • There are ongoing discussions among federal, state, and local public health personnel to continue evaluation of the current supply of rabies biologics and review additional strategies as necessary.
  • Contact information for RabAvert wholesalers/distributors that have supplies available for pre-exposure vaccination or PEP as of September 11, 2012 is provided below. Additional lots of RabAvert, expected to meet current demand, are being released to distributors over the next couple of weeks.

* Please note that this list may not be complete.

(415) 983-8300

(610) 727-7000

(614) 757-5000

Medico Mart
(800) 242-6248

Recommendations Unaffected By Supply Constraint

  • Current supplies of RabAvert available through wholesale distributors are expected to be sufficient to meet demand for pre-exposure vaccination until additional lots are released
  • Persons at increased risk for rabies exposure should take appropriate precautions to avoid exposure.
  • Vaccine is available for PEP, and providers should consult with local/state public health departments to ensure appropriate use of PEP (State and local rabies consultation contacts).
  • To help people avoid exposures, general rabies awareness and prevention messages should be emphasized (e.g., avoid wildlife contact, vaccinate pets/livestock, capture/observe/test exposing animal, etc.).
  • Additional updates will be posted to the CDC rabies website as available. Subscribe to receive email notices of updates.

Related Updates

* Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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