Call 0141 404 0075 or email

Rabies Vaccine Shortage

Rabies Vaccine Shortage

Rabies is a viral disease carried by infected animals (usually dogs) and transmitted to humans typically by a bite or scratch. It is almost always fatal after symptoms appear. Rabies is found on all continents except Antarctica, but over 95 percent of deaths occur in Asia and Africa.1


The rabies vaccine is essential to surviving this disease. Unfortunately, the UK is currently experiencing rabies vaccine supply constraints. Scotland is now prioritizing the vaccine’s use in post-exposure treatment, making vaccines difficult to get for pre-exposure prophylaxis.2


Travellers who cannot get a pre-exposure rabies vaccine in the UK should pay particular attention to the following practical advice:2

  • Consider obtaining a rabies vaccine at your destination if you can’t get it in the UK. The International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM) publishes a Global Travel Clinic Directory that allows you to search for a clinic overseas.
  • While traveling, avoid contact with all animals, including pets, even if you’ve had a pre-exposure vaccine. Animals behaving normally could still be infectious.
  • Watch over children carefully, as they are more prone to encounter animals and not say anything if they’ve been bitten, scratched, or licked.
  • Be aware that cycling and running may attract dogs.
  • Remember that even if you get a pre-exposure vaccine, you’ll still require post-exposure treatment if you are infected.
  • If you are bitten, scratched, or licked by an animal, or if you find a bat in your living quarters (because you may have slept through a bite, which doesn’t leave a mark):
  • Wash and flush the area with soap and water.
  • Get medical help locally immediately.
  • If advised, start the rabies post-exposure treatment locally and do not wait to return to the UK.
  • Contact your GP in the UK immediately upon your return if you received any type of rabies treatment abroad.


For information about the rabies vaccine and what you can do to avoid contracting the disease, contact  Emcare Travel Clinic at 0141 404 0075.






Emcare Vision

We aim to protect, preserve and promote the health, safety and wellbeing of our clients through the sharing of knowledge and provision of clinical services from an expert team with committed focus on exceptional customer service.


Emcare supports the health & safety, health care and social care sectors by providing a broad range of learning and development course programmes for care and support staff which can be tapped into easily and quickly.
  • Atlantic House, 45 Hope Street, Glasgow G2 6AE
  • 0141 404 0075