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Rabies Post-Exposure Treatment

Is there a vaccine against rabies?

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What does rabies post-exposure treatment consist of?

  • In Ontario, treatment involves administration of immune globulin and 4 doses of rabies vaccine over a 14-day period.
  • Rabies immune globulin and the first dose of rabies vaccine is given a soon as possible after exposure. This is considered day 0.
  • Additional doses of rabies vaccine are given on days three, seven and 14 after the first vaccination. For immunocompromised persons, a fifth dose of vaccine is given on day 28.
  • Rabies post-exposure treatment is relatively painless. It does not require injections in the stomach as it did in the past.

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Who should receive rabies post-exposure treatment?

  • Consult your family doctor about receiving the post-exposure treatment.

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Am I protected from rabies if I received rabies post-exposure vaccine in the past?

  • No, previous immunization only reduces the number of vaccine doses following exposure.
  • It is important that you seek medical attention and advice from a physician if you are potentially exposed to rabies - even if you have received rabies vaccine in the past.

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How do I receive rabies post-exposure treatment?

  • Consult your family doctor, as rabies post-exposure treatment is only issued by the Halton Region Health Department upon the request of a physician.

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Do I have to pay for rabies post-exposure treatment?

  • Rabies post-exposure treatment is free to Ontario residents.
  • The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care provides the rabies immune globulin and vaccine, and OHIP covers the medical costs.

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Related links:

Canadian Immunization Guide: Rabies Vaccine
Public Health Agency of Canada