Need a Rabies Vaccination?

Rabies is an incredibly nasty disease. If you haven’t been vaccinated and you catch it, there is no cure. You could easily be dead within a few days and it’s a horrible way to go. This means rabies vaccination is absolutely essential if you’re travelling to a region or country where there’s a risk of coming in contact with the disease. It’s also worth bearing in mind that if you don’t get a rabies jab, your travel insurance policy won’t cover you if you get infected.

Rabies Vaccination at a Glance

Schedule: Course of Three
Price: £65 per dose 
Risk Areas: Worldwide. High Risk in Africa, Asia and Central America

Regions where I need a rabies vaccination


Rabies is common throughout the world but in places where street dogs and bats are common, like India, Brazil and Thailand, it’s common and vaccination is absolutely essential.

What is Rabies and what causes it?


Rabies is spread through animal and human bites, although you can catch it through being scratched by an infected person or animal. The disease can infect any warm-blooded animal including humans, dogs, foxes, monkeys and bats.

Common Rabies symptoms


The symptoms depend on the type of rabies you contract. Hydrophobia – an irrational fear of water – is commonly associated with a form of the disease that affects 80% of people, called ‘furious’ rabies. The remaining 20% catch a paralytic form that results in muscle weakness, loss of sensation and paralysis but no fear of water.

The first symptoms are flu-like and can last for several days. Early signs include:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Agitation, anxiety and confusion

  • Hyperactivity

  • Problems swallowing / excessive saliva

  • Hallucinations and insomnia

  • Partial paralysis

When should I get vaccinated?


Wherever you’re going in the world, if you’re staying a long time or making regular journeys to and fro you’ll need to be vaccinated against rabies. Inoculation involves a course of three injections given over 21 – 28 days (3-4 weeks) so you need to give yourself plenty of advance warning.

If you’re going to be living or working somewhere with a rabies risk you’ll need a pre-exposure injection, which should be administered at least 14 days before you travel.

What do I do if I get bitten or scratched?


Whether or not you’ve been inoculated against rabies, if you’re bitten or scratched you need to seek medical attention within 24 hours. Time is of the essence because of the severity of the disease and because animal and human bites also come with all sorts of other infections.

You should immediately wash the wound with clean, hot running water and plenty of soap, then cover it with a clean dressing. If you’ve been given a primary course of rabies shots within the recommended time scale, medical staff will advise you about any booster shots you might need.

For urgent advice overseas, you can contact the HPA on 00442082004400

How long will the protection last?


Lifelong, although if you work in the veterinary profession you’ll benefit from more frequent boosters.

Common Rabies vaccination side effects


Obviously, the side effects are much less serious than the disease itself. You might find you suffer a low key local reaction at the injection site, for example, pain, redness and inflammation. And some people experience mild flu-like symptoms.

Cost of Rabies vaccination


A course of three doses costs £135, well worth having when not getting immunised can be fatal.

How to minimise the risk of catching Rabies?


It makes sense to stay away from domestic animals, even if they look perfectly healthy. Avoid wild animals too, especially if they look ill. And if you can, report sick-looking strays to the authorities. If you’re going to live abroad and are taking pets with you or plan to adopt a pet when you get there, keep them away from wild animals and get your cat or dog vaccinated against the disease.



Want to book a rabies inoculation? Perhaps you’d just like to talk about the risks or find out more first. Either way it’s quick and easy to book an appointment either on the phone or online. Call 0203 488 7351 to speak with a friendly, experienced team member.

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