Alberta Health Services
You may get this vaccine if:
Talk to your workplace health and safety department or a public health nurse to find out if you can get the vaccine for free.
You may also benefit from the vaccine if:
If you’re getting the vaccine for these reasons, then it’s not free.
If you can’t get the vaccine for free, check your health insurance plan to see if your plan covers the cost.
If you had contact with rabies, get the rabies vaccine right away.
Talk to your healthcare provider before getting rabies vaccine if:
Although you can get the vaccine if you have a mild illness such as a cold or fever, you should stay home until you are feeling better to prevent spreading your illness to others, unless you had contact with rabies.
It’s very important to get all doses of rabies vaccine on schedule. Get your doses on the days your healthcare provider recommends.
If you’re getting the vaccine because of work, travel, or other activities, you need 3 doses given over 3 to 4 weeks.
If you’re getting the vaccine because you had an animal bite or had contact with rabies, you will get:
Some people, such as those who work with animals or those with a weak immune system, may need a blood test after all their doses to make sure they’re protected. You may need to get another dose if the blood test shows you’re not protected. Check with your healthcare provider to see if you need a blood test.
If you had an animal bite or you think you had contact with rabies, call Health Link at 811. If rabies vaccine is recommended, you will be told where to go to get the vaccine.
If you need rabies vaccine for work, contact your local public health or community health centre unless you are in Edmonton or Calgary:
If you want the vaccine and need to pay for it, contact a travel health clinic or talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
After the recommended doses of vaccine, almost 100% of people are protected.
In Canada, there have been no cases of rabies in people when rabies immune globulin (RIG) and rabies vaccine were given as recommended. In other countries, there have been cases of rabies in people, but RIG and rabies vaccine were not given as recommended.
Vaccine safety is a top priority. Canada uses extremely safe vaccines. Learn more about vaccine safety in Canada, including how vaccines are monitored for continued safety, and ingredients in vaccines.
There can be side effects from the rabies vaccine, but they tend to be mild and go away in a few days.
Side effects may include:
At least 1 out of 100 people who got this vaccine reported 1 or more of these side effects. In some cases, it is unknown if the vaccine caused these side effects.
It’s important to stay for 15 minutes after your vaccine. Some people may have a rare but serious allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If anaphylaxis happens, you will get medicine to treat the symptoms.
It’s rare to have a serious side effect. Call Health Link at 811 to report any serious or unusual side effects.
There can be mild, short-term side effects after getting a vaccine. Find tips to manage these side effects at home.