The supply of human rabies vaccine is becoming tight and health care providers are cautious but not overly concerned. Iowa’s public health veterinarian, Ann Garvey, says the situation has developed because this is the peak time of year for rabies cases and two of the drug manufacturers are experiencing a distribution slow down.
“Right now, there is ample supply to treat anyone who is potential exposed to a rabies or a potentially rabid animal and we don’t expect there to be any issues,” Garvey says. “We expect in a couple of weeks, these production delays will be resolved and there will be plenty of supplies for everything.”
Dr. Garvey says those who would routinely get the rabies shots may be asked to postpone the vaccinations so there is plenty for emergency cases. “For example, veterinarians will often get this when they’re going school, animal control officers or people traveling to countries where rabies is more common,” Garvey says.
“They will get a series of three shots and then if they are exposed they’d only need a booster of two doses of the vaccine.” She says there are basically two reasons why people get a series of rabies shots, either they’ve been bitten by a potentially infected animal or they have a lot of contact with animals because of their job.