The Urwin Pharmacy Group

Rabies Travel Vaccine 

What is Rabies?

The rabies virus is found in the saliva of an infected animal. The virus is transmitted to humans by a bite or scratch, or when saliva from an infected animal comes into contact with broken skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). 

Rabies is preventable if the correct post-exposure treatment it provided quickly however accessing this in some countries can be challenging. 

The incubation period of rabies is usually 2-3 months but in rare cases it can be as short as 1 week to 1 year.  According to the World Health Organisation, the incubation period depends upon factors such as the amount of virus inoculated, the amount of tissue at the site of the bite or scratch, and the proximity of the bite to the central nervous system. Early symptoms of rabies include headache, numb feeling in the skin round the areas where the bite or scratch was and muscle pain. 


Rabies Travel Vaccine 

Pre-exposure vaccines are recommended for individuals considered to be at risk of exposure to rabies virus, according to UK guidance.  A full course of consists of three vaccinations, the second dose is given seven days after the first dose. The third dose should be given three weeks after the second dose. Travellers should aim to get your first dose five weeks before travelling, this is to ensure you complete the full course. The rabies vaccine protects you for 10 years, frequent boosters may be recommended for travellers who are at a more higher risk.

    Rabies Prevention 

    Travellers should avoid contact with wild or domestic animals. Travellers should also be advised:

    • Not to go near animals 
    • Not to pick up animals, even if they appear to be tame or unwell 
    • Not to attract stray animals by offering them food or water

    Be aware of certain activities that may attract dogs, such as running and cycling.




    What vaccinations do I need?

    Speak to your expert Pharmacist at your local Urwin Pharmacy branch for more advice and recommendations.