Temporary decrease in human rabies vaccine supplies
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Temporary decrease in human rabies vaccine supplies

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      Friday, June 20, 2008, 14:30 EDT (2:30 PM EDT)


      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been notified that Novartis Vaccines, maker of RabAvert (Rabies Vaccine), will temporarily cease to provide their rabies vaccine for both pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis uses to health care providers. This includes physicians, nurse practitioners, hospitals, clinics, etc. A second company, Sanofi Pasteur, produces IMOVAX Rabies (Rabies Vaccine), and will continue to supply vaccine to health care providers for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). In certain circumstances, such as an allergic reaction to one company's vaccine product, the other company's vaccine product can be obtained to complete a vaccination series after consultation with state health departments and CDC, on a case-by-case basis. Overall, both manufacturers have limited supplies of rabies vaccine, necessitating the need for judicious use of these products by health care providers. (It is expected that additional RabAvert will be available on the market in July 2008. When that occurs, it is expected that the demand for pre-exposure vaccinations can be fully met with RabAvert.)

      Due to temporarily limited supplies, distribution of vaccine for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreP) will be approved by state and federal public health authorities. Priority will be given for those individuals at greatest rabies exposure risk (e.g., rabies laboratory workers, animal control officers, veterinary staff, wildlife workers) and in consideration of available rabies vaccine supplies. In lower risk rabies exposure categories (e.g., travelers, veterinary students, etc.), human rabies PreP should be delayed until vaccine supply levels are restored.

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