Part I: Recommendations for Immunization Procedures
The purpose of these recommendations is to provide information
rabies vaccines to practicing veterinarians, public health
and others concerned with rabies control. This document will serve
the basis for animal rabies vaccination programs throughout the
States. Its adoption will result in standardization of procedures
among jurisdictions, which is necessary for an effective national
rabies-control program. These recommendations are reviewed and
revised as necessary before the beginning of each calendar year.
animal rabies vaccines licensed by the U.S. Department of
(USDA) and marketed in the United States are listed in Part II, and
Part III describes the principles of rabies control.
The Committee recommends that all animal rabies vaccines be
restricted to use by or under the supervision of a
The use of vaccines with 3-year duration of immunity is
recommended, since their use constitutes the most effective
of increasing the proportion of immunized dogs and cats in
comprehensive rabies-control programs.
ROUTE OF INOCULATION
Unless otherwise specified by the product label or package
all vaccines must be administered intramuscularly at one site
Vaccination is not recommended, since no rabies vaccine is
licensed for use in wild animals and since there is no evidence
that any vaccine will protect wild animals against rabies. The
Committee recommends that neither wild nor exotic animals be
as pets and that wild animals not be cross-bred to domestic
ACCIDENTAL HUMAN EXPOSURE TO VACCINE
Accidental human inoculation may occur during administration of
animal rabies vaccine. Such exposure to inactivated vaccines
constitutes no known rabies hazard. No cases of rabies have
resulted from needle or other exposure to a licensed, modified
live virus vaccine in the United States.
IDENTIFICATION OF VACCINATED DOGS
The Committee recommends that all agencies and veterinarians
the standard tag system. This will aid the administration of
local, state, national, and international procedures. Dog
tags should not conflict in shape and color with rabies tags.
is recommended that anodized aluminum rabies tags not be less
0.064 inches in thickness.
2. Rabies Certificate: All agencies and veterinarians should
use form #50 Rabies Vaccination Certificate of the
Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc.
(NASPHV), which can be obtained from vaccine
Part III: Principles of Rabies Control
These guidelines have been prepared by the NASPHV for use by
government officials, practicing veterinarians, and others who may
become involved in certain aspects of rabies control. The NASPHV
plans to annually review and revise these recommendations as
necessary. Standardized control procedures are needed to deal
effectively with the public health aspects of rabies.
PRINCIPLES OF RABIES CONTROL
Humans: Rabies in humans can be prevented by eliminating
exposure to rabid animals and by promptly treating local
wounds and immunizing when exposed. Current
of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP)
preexposure and postexposure prophylaxis are suggested for
consideration by attending physicians. These
recommendations, along with the current status of animal
rabies in the region and information concerning the
availability of rabies biologics, are available from state
Domestic Animals: Local governments should initiate and
maintain effective programs to remove stray and unwanted
animals and ensure vaccination of all dogs and cats.
cat rabies cases now exceed those annually reported in
immunization of cats should be required. Such procedures
the United States have reduced laboratory-confirmed rabies
cases in dogs from 8,000 in 1947 to 132 in 1983. The
recommended vaccination procedures and the licensed animal
vaccines are specified in Parts I and II of the NASPHV's
annually released Compendium.
Wildlife: The control of rabies in foxes, skunks,
and other terrestrial animals is very difficult.
reduction of these populations, when indicated, may be
useful, but the utility of this procedure depends heavily
the circumstances surrounding each rabies outbreak. (See
Control Methods in Wild Animals.)
CONTROL METHODS IN DOMESTIC AND CONFINED ANIMALS
Preexposure Vaccination and Management: Animal rabies
vaccines, because of species limitations, techniques, and
tolerances, should be administered only by or under the
direct supervision of a veterinarian. Within 1 month
vaccination, a peak rabies antibody titer is reached, and
animal can be considered immunized. (See Parts I and II
recommended vaccines and procedures.)
Dogs and Cats: All dogs and cats should be
against rabies commencing at 3 months of age and
revaccinted in accordance with Part II of this
Livestock: It is not economically feasible, nor is
justified from a public health standpoint, to
all livestock against rabies. Veterinary clinicians
owners of valuable animals may consider immunizing
certain breeding stock located in areas where
rabies is epizootic.
Animals Maintained in Exhibits and Zoological Parks: Captive
not completely excluded from all contact with local vectors of
can become infected with rabies. Moreover, such animals may be
incubating rabies when captured. Exhibit animals, especially
carnivores and omnivores having contact with the viewing public,
should be quarantined for a minimum of 180 days. Since no rabies
vaccine is licensed for use in wild animals, vaccination, even with
inactivated vaccine, is not recommended. Preexposure rabies
immunization of animal workers at such facilities is recommended to
protect the workers and to reduce the need for euthanizing a
animal for rabies testing after it has bitten a handler.
Wild Animals: Because of the existing risk of rabies among wild
animals, such as raccoons, skunks, and foxes, the American
Medical Association (AVMA), the NASPHV, and the Conference of State
and Territorial Epidemiologists strongly recommend the enactment of
state laws prohibiting the interstate and intrastate importation,
distribution, and relocation of wild animals and wild animals
cross-bred to domestic dogs and cats. Further, these same
organizations continue to recommend the enactment of laws
the distribution or keeping of wild animals as pets.
2. Stray-Animal Control: Stray dogs and cats should be
from the community, especially in rabies-epizootic areas.
Local health department and animal-control officials can
enforce the pick-up of strays more efficiently if owned
animals are confined or leashed when not confined. Strays
should be impounded for at least 3 days to give owners
sufficient time to reclaim animals apprehended as strays
to determine whether human exposure has occurred.
International: Present USDA regulations (CFR No.
governing the importation of wild and domestic
canines, and other potential rabies vectors are
for preventing the introduction of rabid animals into
the United States. All dogs and cats imported from
countries with endemic rabies should be vaccinated
against rabies at least 30 days before entry into the
United States.* CDC is responsible for these animals
imported into the United States. CDC's requirements
should be coordinated with interstate shipment
requirements. The health authority of the state of
destination should be notified within 72 hours of any
animal conditionally admitted into its jurisdiction.
The conditional admission of such animals into the
United States must be subject to state and local laws governing
rabies. Failures to comply with these requirements should be
reported to the director of CDC.
b. Interstate: Before interstate shipment, dogs and
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