General Question

girlofscience's avatar

How the hell do I obtain a rabies vaccine?

Asked by girlofscience (7464 points ) February 22nd, 2009

I am very involved in the lives of feral cats. I am a caretaker of four feral colonies, and I participate in trap/neuter/return. These activities do not require me to be vaccinated, but recently, I have started to assist in the spay/neuter clinics for feral cats.

Because I’m handling feral cats, I need to have a rabies vaccine, and it has been impossible to acquire. Everyone else at the clinics got them because they’re a vet or a vet tech or got the vaccination years ago.

I have called my Student Health Center, and they thought I was crazy and failed to comprehend why I needed the vaccine. (Even if they did comprehend, they clearly don’t have the vaccine and basically said they were unable to get it.) I don’t really have a primary care physician because I just get a yearly check-up with my gynecologist, and my gynecologist’s office is not really in the business of obtaining rabies vaccines.

There is a national shortage of the rabies vaccine, and it is extremely expensive. I cannot figure out how to get it. Does anyone have any knowledge of this?

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11 Answers

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Call your county health department and ask where this is done. There’s usually a clinic associated with vaccinations of all sorts. When my daughter went to Asia for two months, she had to get shots through a clinic that did just that.

Snoopy's avatar

@GOS I would also contact your nearest school of vet medicine. They should (at a minimum) be able to give you some leads/ideas…

syz's avatar

The county health department in Durham orders and dispenses rabies vaccinations – I use them for my employees. Your doctor can also order the vaccine.

girlofscience's avatar

@syz: Awesome! Do you know if there is any possibility of it being covered by my health insurance, or will I definitely have to pay for it?

Cardinal's avatar

You could claim you were bitten by a rabid (bat, racoon, dog) then the walk in clinic or ER would be happy to accomodate you.

girlofscience's avatar

@Cardinal:

1) I think the post-exposure procedure would be much different than the preventative vaccine.

2) I would have to make my boyfriend (or someone) bite me.

3) I already committed insurance fraud in the ER once this year.

syz's avatar

I would be surprised if your insurance covers it, although my insurance does cover my titer test. It’s worth investigating.

kwhull's avatar

The post-bite procedure is very painful (unless it has been changed in the last few years). The shots went into your abdomen & there had to be several of them administered over a several day time frame.

You could join the Army. My son gets vacinated for stuff all the time. Some things we’ve never even heard of!

kwhull's avatar

I got bit by acat a few years ago & went to the health dept in my county. I just needed a tetnus (however you spell it) shot & they said it was good for several years. Cost = $8. what a deal!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

Your certificate of coverage would specify if it’s covered; it probably is not, as this is a voluntary immunization. If you need it for work, you may be able to deduct the cost of the immunization off your taxes as a work related expense. You would need a letter stating that immunization is a requirement.

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