Pre-exposure vaccination is given to people at high risk of close contact with rabid animals or the rabies virus:
- Workers such as veterinarians, veterinary staff, animal control, and wildlife workers.
- Laboratory workers handling the rabies virus.
- Certain travellers, hunters, and trappers in areas with confirmed rabies and spelunkers.
Unlike post-exposure rabies vaccination, only 3 doses of the vaccine are given to a person on days 0, 7, and any time between 21 to 28 days.
Travellers (including children) who visit rabies endemic and high risk areas, should consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination.
Travellers who have had an exposure to a potentially rabid animal in a developing country, should seek medical attention immediately. If a pre-vaccinated traveller is exposed to a potential rabid animal, there is the need to receive booster doses of rabies vaccine. The person should seek medical advice to discuss the vaccination schedule needed.
Rabies Map - Countries or Areas at Risk
How to get a pre-exposure rabies vaccine? A prescription from a health care provider is required for the pre-exposure rabies vaccine. This can be filled at a local pharmacy. The vaccine must then be administered by a health care provider. Travel clinics that offer Yellow Fever vaccinations are also familiar with rabies pre-exposure vaccination. For a listing of travel clinics in Ontario, please refer to the Public Health Agency of Canada's clinic list.
For more information about rabies and your health, contact Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or visit the health unit's website at www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.