Rabies

Vaccinations and immunization

©Sarah Cleaveland. Mass vaccination campaign of dogs in the United Republic of Tanzania

Since their development more than 4 decades ago, concentrated and purified cell-culture and embryonated egg-based rabies vaccines (here jointly referred to as CCVs) have proven to be safe and effective in preventing rabies.

These vaccines are intended for pre-exposure prophylaxis as well as post-exposure prophylaxis, and have been administered to millions of people worldwide.

Rabies differs from many other infections in that the development of clinical disease can be prevented through timely immunization even after exposure to the infecting agent.

Local treatment of wounds


Elimination of rabies virus at the site of the infection by chemical or physical means is an effective mechanism of protection. Local treatment of wounds involving possible exposure to rabies is recommended in all exposures.

Veterinary vaccines


Several vaccine types can de distinguished among the second-generation veterinary vaccines, depending whether they are live or inactivated, according to the strain of rabies virus used and the characteristics of the cell substrate chosen for viral replication.

Considerable progress has been made in the production of rabies vaccines whether live or inactivated for animal use during the past two decades with the increasing use of continuous cell lines as a substrate and adoption of the fermentor technology for antigen production. These vaccines are produced for administration to domestic animals or wild species by parenteral or oral routes according to vaccine characteristics.

Rabies in the news

26 May 2014 | Geneva
A shortage of funds for vaccinating dogs is costing the lives of tens of thousands of children every year


8 July 2013 | Paris
Announcement. Workshop on surveillance and control of rabies. Dakar (Senegal), 3–14 December 2013


4 July 2013 │Geneva
Report of the WHO Expert Consultation on Rabies, 18–20 September 2012


29 August 2012 | York (UK)
First International Conference on Dog Population Management, York (UK), 4–8 September 2012. | The Food & Environment Research Agency