Info on Rabies
The rabies vaccination is a series of 4 vaccinations. They are normally given on days 0, 7 with on every vaccinationday a two site dose. The vaccination gives lifelong immune memory. It is possible to boost the vaccination. For people with a high risk of exposure, it is recommended to have boostershots or a blood testing on antibodies
It is important to make an appointment for a rabies consultation. Call 085 902 03 03. Every day from 9.00 - 16.00.
The price is 48 euro for a two sided dose.
After a series of 4 vaccinations, 2 x 2 you will have a lifelong immunological memory.
General Rabies Info
Rabiës is a viral disease of the nerval system. Rabiës is transmitted by a bite, scratch or lick of an infected animal. The saliva of an infected animal is contaminated with the virus and through contact with this saliva the virus can be transmitted to other mammals (including humans). Some animals can already be contagious several days before they get symptoms of rabiës themselves. That means that you always need to get a treatment for rabiës after every suspected contact with a possibly infected animal.
In any case of contact with an animal suspected of rabies (dogs, foxes, wolves, jackals, monkeys, bats, raccoons, skunks and cats), also when in doubt, wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Wash for at least 5 minutes and desinfect the wound with iodine tincture. Then, in all cases, consult a health post, doctor or hospital.
For people who are not vaccinated against rabies
After contact with a suspect animal, start vaccinating as soon as possible. Preferably within 12 to 24 hours starting with "human anti-rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG)". Further treatment will consist of at least four vaccinations with the rabies vaccine. Normally on days 0, 3, 7, 14 or 28. An embassy or consulate is always aware where the vaccine is in stock.
For people who are vaccinated against rabies
You have no need for treatment with "human anti-rabies immunoglobulin (HRIG)" anymore. Within three days to one week, but preferably as soon as possible you have to get 2 booster vaccinations (with active Rabies Vaccine 1ml). The first booster as soon as possible and a second booster 3 days later. Important is also the location on your body where you are bitten and the severity of the bite. With a bite in the foot or hand, you basically have more time than with a bite in the face. Take in all cases, your vaccination certificate with you so the doctor can see what diseases you are vaccinated against. Let the vaccinations you receive be registered in your vaccination booklet.
For people who have occupational exposure to rabies
It is recommended to do a titre check four weeks after the primary series of 3 shots. This is a blood test to determine the degree of protection. Officially it is recommended to do a titre check every six months and based on the height of the titre a booster vaccination might be needed. It is also wise to get a booster vaccination 12 months after the primary series and get another titre check after 4 weeks again. This booster dose often gives long term protection of at least 5 years. Even after any booster vaccination a titer check should be done every six months. Based on the semi-annual titre check you get a booster vaccination again if needed. There are different types of antibody tests in the Netherlands, each with a different interpretation. Please ask good advice of knowledgeable people.
Normally, booster vaccinations are not required for "common travellers" because after being exposed to rabiës a treatment of 2 boostervaccinations is always necessary. The need for treatment with HRIG is dropped for the rest of your life once you are vaccinated with a series of vaccination against rabiës. (With a booster vaccination you only buy more time in fact)
Re-vaccination (or booster vaccination) is only needed for certain groups or certain circumstances.
(groups: i.e. veteranarians, biologists, people working with bats or when you have intensive contact with pets or mammals)
(circumstances: if there is a high risk of exposure or if medical treatment is more than 24 hours away. (i.e. cyclists in the tropics)
Regardless of the protection period or duration since the last vaccination, after exposure, as quickly as possible post-exposure vaccinations are needed.
active protection means you buy more time to get a post exposure treatment.
Areas with a high risc on rabiës:
- Afrika (exept Mauritius and the Seychelles)
- Asia (exept Bahrein, Kuweit, Maldives, Taiwan, Hongkong, Singapore, Japan and Papua New Guinea)
- South- and Central America (exept Uruguay)
- Carribean (only in Haïti, Dominican Republic and Cuba)