How Much Does a Rabies Vaccine Cost?

Of all the communicable cross-species disease that could afflict humanity, nothing could be more infamous and terrifying than rabies. In fact, it is (arguably) the only infection that bears a very close resemblance to popular zombie literature. In reality, however, the prevalence of rabies in the United States is something that can be defined as a very marginal concern.

Statistically, there are only 2 to 3 cases of fatalities out of 40,000 highly exposed individuals every year. As far as the frequency of occurrence is concerned, Americans have other things to worry about than being infected with rabies.

It is safe to say that the anxiety associated with this disease has little to do with its commonness and more to do with the sheer brutality of the pathogen. According to the World Health Organization, rabies is almost always fatal once the common symptoms manifest, with four out of ten rabies deaths identified among children younger than 15 years of age.

On the bright side, however, human rabies is 100% preventable with vaccination. Immediate treatment following the thorough hand-washing (with soap) after being bitten by an animal can help stem the spread of rabies prior to its 3-month incubation. Every year, the US government is spending $245 to $510 million to combat rabies. Judging by the collective prognosis, it is the one fight against infection wherein the national health care system has delivered crippling blows.

Cost of Vaccine for Humans

So how much does it cost for a rabies vaccine? The difference is determined by whether or not the patient is insured. For those who are covered by their health insurance plan, the price range is only between $40 and $160. This already includes the co-pay for consultation as well as the procedure.

Nurse injecting vaccine

It is important to take note that the Affordable Health Care Act levied by the Obama Administration does not always include rabies vaccination in the standard coverage. Considering this fact, it is not uncommon for patient to pay it out of their pockets. The estimated national human rabies vaccine price comprises the following:

  • Office or clinic visit: $77
  • Administering the shot: $327

The 10 Least Expensive

The cost of rabies vaccine is not the same for all locations in the United States. In fact, there are certain states wherein the estimated out-of-pocket cost is relatively cheaper compared to the national average cost. These are the following places mentioned by Amino:

  • Raleigh (North Carolina): $213
  • Orlando, Kissimmee, and Sanford (Florida): $237
  • Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach (Florida): $248
  • Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater (Florida): $249
  • Birmingham and Hoover (Alabama): $283
  • Rochester (New York): $308
  • Las Vegas, Henderson, and Paradise (Nevada): $330
  • Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania): $333
  • Phoenix, Mesa, and Scottsdale (Arizona): $339

The 10 Most Expensive

Considering that simply living in a certain location can reduce the estimated human rabies vaccine price, one should remember that it can adversely affect the cost as well. These are the following examples of American cities where vaccination prices are nearly twice the national average:

  • Columbus (Ohio): $500
  • San Antonio and New Braunfels (Texas): $508
  • Riverside, San Bernardino, and Ontario (California): $520
  • Hartford, West Hartford, and East Hartford (Connecticut): $548
  • Los Angeles, Long Beach, and Anaheim (California): $596
  • Cincinnati (Ohio): $666
  • Houston, The Woodlands, and Sugar Land (Texas): $668
  • Baltimore, Columbia, and Towson (Maryland): $690
  • Boston, Cambridge, and Newton (Maine & New Hampshire): $706
  • Louisville and Jefferson County (Kentucky): $992

Cost of Vaccine for Animals

When it comes to the efficient prevention of rabies, inoculating animals are just as important as introducing biological safeguards to human beings. After all, as mentioned in the earliest part of the article, rabies is an infection that can transmit itself across various mammal species. It is always best to ‘cover all bases’ and ‘keep one’s guard up.’

According to Statistic Brain, there are around 81 reported cases of canine rabies every year. As for the cat species, around 300 cases of feline rabies are documented annually. The highest percentage of rabies infection in endemic wild animals occurs among raccoons (37.2%) and skunks (30.7%). Considering the coexistence of humans and animals (pets), animal rabies vaccination is a crucial requirement in the pet care expenses.

So how much does it cost for a rabies vaccine in animals? Here is the breakdown of all necessary expenses for a domestic rabies control:

  • 1-year shot in private vet clinics: $20 to $30
  • 3-year shot in private vet clinics: $35 to $50
  • 1- or 3-year shot in low-cost clinics or animal shelters: $5 to $20
  • Rabies registration tag: $5 to $75 per year

Rabies Risk for Professionals & Travelers

For the record, knowing the overall cost of rabies vaccine is beneficial for all individuals. However, there are certain types of people to whom rabies shots are strictly required. These professionals include the following:

  • Veterinarians
  • Animal Handlers
  • Scientists researching virus in labs

Apart from work conditions, rabies shots are also important for the people who are frequently traveling in different countries. In terms of prevalence, the United States only comprised a very insignificant fraction in the overall 55,000 reported deaths around the world. Suffice to say, rabies is more virulent outside the country. These are the following countries in Europe identified for high-risk rabies prevalence:

  • Armenia
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Croatia
  • Georgia
  • Kosovo
  • Lithuania
  • Montenegro
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • Slovenia
  • Ukraine

syrange and scissors image

While almost every country in Africa, Asia, Latin America, Middle East and the Pacific Region are rife with high prevalence of rabies infection, there are nations in these broad categories that prove to be an exception. These are the key tourist destinations outside Europe, Australia and the United States wherein rabies vaccination is not a mandatory safety measure:

  • Artiga and Barbuda
  • Bahamas
  • Bahrain
  • Brunei
  • Cape Verde
  • Cook Islands
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica (not Dominican Republic)
  • Easter Island (Chile)
  • Galapagos Islands (Ecuador)
  • Jamaica
  • Maldives
  • Mauritius
  • Palau
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Samoa
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Tahiti
  • Tokelau Island

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