30 September 2011
Supply of rabies vaccine in the UK
The supply of Rabipur® rabies vaccine in the UK, manufactured by Novartis, was interrupted in August 2011.
The resulting increased demand for the Sanofi Pasteur MSD (SPMSD) human diploid cell rabies vaccine (HDCV) has resulted in reduced availability of HDCV. Novartis and Sanofi Pasteur MSD (SPMSD) expect further supplies of Rabipur and HDCV vaccines respectively to be available in October 2011.
In the meantime, Verorab® is available to existing account holders from MASTA. Verorab® is an approved World Health Organization vaccine and is used throughout Europe, but does not have a marketing authorisation (product license) in the UK. Verorab® cannot be included on a Patient Group Direction (PGD), but will instead require a Patient Specific Direction (PSD).
All enquiries regarding:
- HDCV: SPMSD medical information on 01628 587693
- Rabipur®: Novartis medical information on 08457451500
- Verorab™: MASTA on 01276698460
Information on the risk of rabies in specific countries is available on the NaTHNaC Country Information Pages.
Travellers needing rabies vaccine prior to travel should seek advice from their local travel health provider or specialist centre. If vaccine is not available, consider obtaining rabies vaccine, if available, from a travel health clinic at the destination. Travel clinics overseas are listed by the International Society of Travel Medicine: ISTM member clinics.
All travellers with a potential rabies exposure whilst overseas should be promptly evaluated and receive post exposure vaccine as appropriate.
Expert advice is available from:
Health Protection Agency Virus Reference Department – 020 8200 4400
Health Protection Agency Centre for Infection - 020 82006868
Health Protection Scotland – 0141 300 1100
National Public Health Service (Virology Cardiff) for Wales - 02920747747
Public Health Laboratory Service, Belfast City Hospital – 0289032 9241