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Rabies post-exposure vaccination in 2 visits within a week: A 4-site intradermal regimen

Warrell, M.J.
Vaccine 2019 v.37 no.9 pp. 1131-1136
World Health Organization, anxiety, disease control, dogs, patients, people, rabies, rural areas, vaccination, vaccines, Africa
Rabies is fatal in all unvaccinated patients bitten by dogs, and so post-exposure vaccine regimens must be robust enough to ensure their survival under all conditions. Treatment tends to be excessive for most people, but there is justified anxiety about reducing vaccine dosage and shortening regimens. Recently, World Health Organisation (WHO) recommended one week primary post-exposure intradermal regimens requiring 3 clinic visits, but these are unlikely to prove economical where rabies vaccination is most needed, in deprived rural areas of Africa and Asia.A highly immunogenic regimen involving two doses of intradermal vaccine given one week apart has advantages over other regimens. Anyone exposed to a possibly rabid animal would be given intradermal (ID) injections at 4 sites using a whole vial of vaccine. Those who had not been previously vaccinated would be given 2-site ID injections using half a vial one week later. Those who might be immunosuppressed could be given an optional single ID dose on day 28. The rationale for this regimen is discussed in the context of the recently revised WHO recommendations for rabies prophylaxis.