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