A temporary decrease in supply of human rabies vaccine has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to advise “judicious use” by health care providers.

Novartis Vaccines, maker of RabAvert, will temporarily stop providing its vaccine to health care providers for pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis. Sanofi pasteur, which produces Imovax, will continue to supply vaccine to health care providers for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).

However, both firms have limited supplies, according to a June 20 CDC Health Advisory.

Priority use of rabies vaccine will be for PEP following the recommendations of the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) which were updated in May 2008 (www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5703a1.htm). Imovax is available for PEP, and providers should carefully review ACIP recommendations and guidelines from their states to ensure need. The nature and extent of the exposure (bite or non-bite), the animal type (domestic, wild or exotic), whether the animal is...

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