NHS Service

What Is the Right Time to Have the Rabies Vaccine?

Rabies Vaccine - Touchwood Pharmacy

The right time to have the rabies vaccine is about one month before you plan to travel, this is because the vaccine is administered in three doses and usually over a period of 28 days. Touchwood Pharmacy offers the rabies vaccination at their clinic in Streatham and we also offer the rabies vaccination at our travel clinic in Sydenham and in Northampton

Who should have the rabies vaccine?
Anyone travelling to areas where rabies is common should have the rabies vaccine.  Three vaccine doses are required over the course of about 4 weeks for full protection against the disease. Other relevant factors include the length of the stay and how easy it is to access appropriate medical help and intervention in the area that you are travelling to. This is the best way to prevent rabies but there are other additional precautions that travellers can take.

Additional Precautions Against Rabies
The most helpful protocol that any traveller can follow is to stay away from wildlife and do not touch animals which are sick or injured in case they bite or scratch.  Do not touch any dead animals.  Rabies is found in wild animals in Asia, Africa, Central and South America but also spreads to street animals like cats and dogs and to some domestic pets.

Even if you have had the rabies vaccination, you should take precautionary measures if you are bitten or scratched by an animal which may be carrying the disease.

  • Immediately clean a wound inflicted by an animal using soap and running water
  • Disinfect the wound with iodine or an alcohol based disinfectant and then cover it with a sterile dressing
  • Seek medical advice as soon as possible and do not wait until you have returned to the UK

There is post-exposure treatment from a bite or scratch from a potentially rabid animal and the rabies vaccine can still prevent rabies if given to a person after they have had an exposure.

Rabies Boosters and Blood Tests

Some people may require rabies boosters even after the course of initial vaccinations if they are repeatedly exposed to the rabies virus. Boosters and blood tests will form part of a periodic testing protocol for immunity in order to ensure optimal protection for vulnerable workers and travellers.

Touchwood Pharmacy provides the rabies vaccination and rabies boosters and blood tests at their clinics in Sydenham and Streatham, as well as offering the rabies vaccination at their travel clinic in Northampton.