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Vaccination & Immunization Message Board

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I have conflicting information about the need for pre-travel rabies vaccination.

According to our record, my wife and I received a booster shot, the third in a series of three shots, in August 1999. According to then-current advice, printed on the card, this series was good for 2-3 years; in other words, a booster was required not later than August 2002.

I don’t know if we ever had that booster, but suspect not.

Now I read that after the booster, which we had in August 1999, protection lasts for ten years.

However, according to the CDC website, I think it is, or it could be the WHO, because we are in the “infrequent exposure” category (which includes long-term travellers to areas where the disease is endemic), we need no serologic testing (antibody titer) or booster vaccination. If in 1999, though, we needed a further shot nor shots after two-three years, or if three shots are partially effective for ten years (yes, I understand that in any case, two further shots are neede if bitten by an infected or potentially infected animal), I’m uncertain as to why the advice would have changed. Vaccines and their effectiveness can change, but in 1998-99, future requirements would then be based on the vaccine or vaccines being used at that time. In which case we would need, now, either a complete new course or a booster.

We would like to resolve our uncertainty.

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