The Rabies vaccine is one of the most important and yet one of the most expensive travel vaccinations available. For some the cost of a course of Intramuscular (IM) Rabies vaccines is just too expensive leading many high risk travellers to depart to their trip unprotected.
Intradermal (ID) Rabies vaccinations offer a more affordable alternative for travellers. Less of the vaccine is needed and therefore it costs a lot less, however there are only a few travel health clinics in the UK offering this service.
Rabies infection is fatal. There is no treatment yet pre exposure Rabies vaccination by ID or IM route can offer almost 100% protection if the wound is cleaned thoroughly and post exposure treatment of two further vaccines are received.
Treatment for travellers who have not received three pre exposure rabies vaccines require thorough wound irrigation, human rabies immune globulin (HRIG), and a series of 5 doses of rabies vaccine over 4 weeks. Sourcing this treatment can seriously disrupt travel plans but also create a lot of anxiety and stress.
Many travellers do not consider or question the quality and lack of healthcare facilities abroad. They are also unaware of the risks of counterfeit Rabies vaccines and the fact that HRIG is often unavailable in developing countries.
Travellers backpacking, visiting rural areas and undertaking activities such as cycling, running, hiking and camping are at risk of coming into contact with stray animals, particularly dogs should seriously consider rabies pre exposure vaccinations by ID or IM route.
At Nomad, our travel clinics offer travellers the choice of Intramuscular (IM) or Intradermal (ID) Rabies vaccines. Our nurses are specialised in administering the ID technique which is supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Public Health England (PH England).
Naturally, travellers have many questions about Intradermal rabies. Here are some facts that may help answer some of these:
- Unlike most vaccines given intramuscularly (into the muscle), Intradermal rabies is given under the first layer of skin (the dermis) which is another effective way of administration
- Only a small amount of the vaccine is required (0.1mls) making ID rabies a cost effective vaccine for travellers as a lesser amount of the vaccine is needed
- ID rabies method is globally recognised and used regularly in many countries
- The World Health Organisation states that three doses of ID rabies vaccines will provide antibody titre levels that achieve adequate protection again the rabies virus
- Three doses given on day 0, 7 and 21 are required before travel
- IM and ID methods are interchangeable without any adverse effects
- Booster doses are the same as Intramuscular Rabies vaccines and are recommended at 10 years unless a high risk traveller requiring boosters more often
Due to the small demand, the ID method of ID rabies is off label in the UK but this does not mean that is it not safe. The vaccine is licensed and the route of administration is safe and effective if given correctly by trained healthcare professionals.
For more information from the WHO – Click Here
Rabies Intramuscular (IM) is available in all clinics at any time and is £55 per dose.
Your Travel Nurse may recommend Rabies IM based on your specific travel itinerary, medical history and other risk factors.
Rabies Intradermal (ID) is available at the times below and is £35 per dose – call the booking team on 01341 555 061
ID Rabies is not available at the Canary Wharf Travel Clinic
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