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Human Rabies Vaccine Information
Postexposure rabies vaccination, also known as postexposure prophylaxis (PEP), for someone who has never been vaccinated against rabies consists of one dose of human rabies immune globulin (HRIG) and four doses of the rabies vaccine.
On the first day of treatment (day 0), a person will receive HRIG and the first dose of the rabies vaccine. HRIG is synthesized by separating antibodies (immunoglobulins) specific for rabies from the plasma of people already vaccinated against rabies. HRIG should be administered around the area of the bite/injury to immediately provide passive immunity to the rabies virus. This should be done after the area has been properly cleaned by thoroughly flushing and washing with soap and water for a minimum of 15 minutes. The rabies vaccine must only be given in the deltoid muscle of adults or in the anterolateral thigh of young children. It is very important that the vaccine is administered to a site distant from the area that was infiltrated with HRIG to avoid decreasing the effectiveness of the immunoglobulin (e.g., if a person was bitten on the right hand, HRIG would be administered to the right hand and the vaccine would be given in the left deltoid).
Subsequent rabies vaccinations will be given on days 3, 7, and 14.
A patient who is immunocompromised (e.g., due to chemotherapy or radiation treatment, HIV or AIDS, a genetic disorder, etc.) would receive a fifth rabies vaccine on day 28.
PEP for someone who has previously been vaccinated against rabies is similar, but the person would not receive HRIG and only two doses of the rabies vaccine would be given as boosters (one on day 0 and one on day 3).
Domestic Animal Rabies Vaccine Information
Vaccination laws for domestic animals vary by location throughout the state.
City of Grand Forks: First vaccination at 4 months of age, boostered after 1 year, then boostered every 2 years
Grand Forks AFB: First vaccination at 4 months of age, boostered every year
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