hygebeorht

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Hey guys, I did search for threads on rabies vaccinations but they all seemed old. I heard that one place to get cheaper rabies vaccinations is through travel clinics, instead of through the vet schools.

Anyone have good advice on where/how to get a cheap rabies vaccine? I don't know where I'm going yet, but I'll need one wherever I go.
 

Minnerbelle

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Depends on your insurance. Also some schools or their health insurance plans will cover them. So look there first
 

jmo1012

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Depends on your insurance. Also some schools or their health insurance plans will cover them. So look there first
:thumbup:

also, i don't think you're going to find a "cheaper" vaccine series. it will be cheaper if insurance will pay, but in general the vaccines are pretty darn expensive.

for reference, my series was done at a travel clinic for over $700.
 

Frozenshades

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:thumbup:

also, i don't think you're going to find a "cheaper" vaccine series. it will be cheaper if insurance will pay, but in general the vaccines are pretty darn expensive.

for reference, my series was done at a travel clinic for over $700.
Yeah, the school clinic wanted like $900 for it. I can't remember what the final out of pocket ended up being, but I went to another clinic and because it was for work/school I got my health insurance to cover a significant portion of it.
 

dvmdreamer

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Depends on your insurance. Also some schools or their health insurance plans will cover them. So look there first
Not to hijack the thread but... Is health insurance figured into the COA schools give? I was just thinking about the financial aid presentation at ISU, and don't remember seeing a category for that. Is anyone willing to explain how that works with your school and a general price range?

I know that it will depend somewhat where/if I am accepted, but I am curious in general for budgeting purposes :D Thanks!
 

PetPony

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I just applied to a job that would include a free rabies vaccine. :xf: :luck:
 

Minnerbelle

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Not to hijack the thread but... Is health insurance figured into the COA schools give? I was just thinking about the financial aid presentation at ISU, and don't remember seeing a category for that. Is anyone willing to explain how that works with your school and a general price range?

I know that it will depend somewhat where/if I am accepted, but I am curious in general for budgeting purposes :D Thanks!
Yes it def is, but I think only for student insurance through the school which will usually be cheaper than if you get private insurance elsewhere. If you want more expensive insurance (e.g something with a premium of $500+ a month or something) then you'll have to adjust your housing/miscellaneous budget accordingly.
 

Minnerbelle

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I just applied to a job that would include a free rabies vaccine. :xf: :luck:
Now that you mention it, I needed to get my rabies vax like 5 years before going to vet school. My undergrad health services ordered them for me and I got it for cheaper than most people. I'm guessing they just didn't mark it up much on the clinic side.
 

felinelvr44

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I called my (supposedly excellent) health insurance company that I have right now through my job. They "cover" the vaccine as long as it's not for a whole litany of exceptions... including work and education. Why else would you need to get a pre-exposure vaccine, for fun!? :mad:
 

Minnerbelle

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I called my (supposedly excellent) health insurance company that I have right now through my job. They "cover" the vaccine as long as it's not for a whole litany of exceptions... including work and education. Why else would you need to get a pre-exposure vaccine, for fun!? :mad:
What if you told them your hobby is playing with bats and foxes and skunks and raccoons? Or that you are travelling to a some rabies rampant developing country with rabid strays running around or something...? Wtf?
 

felinelvr44

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What if you told them your hobby is playing with bats and foxes and skunks and raccoons? Or that you are travelling to a some rabies rampant developing country with rabid strays running around or something...? Wtf?
"travel" was another exception! I could not think of a single reason why you would need the vaccine that wasn't listed as an exception.
 
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I called my (supposedly excellent) health insurance company that I have right now through my job. They "cover" the vaccine as long as it's not for a whole litany of exceptions... including work and education. Why else would you need to get a pre-exposure vaccine, for fun!? :mad:
I had that same thing with my insurance company! BUT if i got bit they would pay 100% for the series of 5 go figure.

I got mine at the health clinic in our area. (I got mine three years before starting Vet school) They had to order it but it was cheaper than going through my doctors office that would also have to order it. ($900) When i started Vet school it was the same price i paid $ 197 per shot so some schools do not mark up.
 

BlackDog17

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I had that same thing with my insurance company! BUT if i got bit they would pay 100% for the series of 5 go figure.
A girl I used to work with would jokingly "try" to get bitten so she could get the vaccine for free. Unfortunately our unvaccinated patients were mostly friendly house cats, so in the end she had to pay the $700 for the series.

Another coworker was able to get the vaccine to take home with her and she had one of the vet techs (who was also an EMT) administer them. Not sure if that really made much of a difference in the cost, but something to consider if you have a doctor/nurse/EMT friend.
 

macita183

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I called my (supposedly excellent) health insurance company that I have right now through my job. They "cover" the vaccine as long as it's not for a whole litany of exceptions... including work and education. Why else would you need to get a pre-exposure vaccine, for fun!? :mad:

This is what I'm concerned my insurance company will do if I'm accepted this year.
 

cowgirla

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My insurance covered every penny. It was pretty nice. They didn't even really question me when I called to ask.

I think through OK, students were paying ~$735 for the series.


Have to get my titer drawn at some point in the next few weeks. Hope it's high!
 

psilovethomas

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Anyone who is a military dependent- tricare will cover the full cost of your rabies vaccine and titers.
 

Lissarae06

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My insurance covered every penny. It was pretty nice. They didn't even really question me when I called to ask.

I think through OK, students were paying ~$735 for the series.


Have to get my titer drawn at some point in the next few weeks. Hope it's high!
Ugh, stupid titer checks. Are they setting that up for us like they did our vaccines or are we just supposed to go do it? They never tell us these things.
 

orca2011

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for Pennwe's and wannabe's...

remember Penn Student Health provides the rabies series for free for vet students (who enroll in the health plan). ... wait until you enroll to get the vaccine.

:thumbup:
Exactly what I did since I supposedly would have had to get a new insurance plan anyways since mine didn't cover certain aspects recommended by Penn.
 

skysong13

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If you work at the vet clinic at your school, they may offer it to you for free. I get a free mini physical, rabies series, tetanus, and rabies titer (1x a year)
 

PetPony

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If you work at the vet clinic at your school, they may offer it to you for free. I get a free mini physical, rabies series, tetanus, and rabies titer (1x a year)
I'm so jealous. We always say our job isn't important enough to get that. Why spend more money on that than we even get paid. :D
 

felinelvr44

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If you work at the vet clinic at your school, they may offer it to you for free. I get a free mini physical, rabies series, tetanus, and rabies titer (1x a year)
Also jealous! I work at a SA clinic in the city so there's not much chance of a rabid animal coming into our clinic. I plan to ask the practice owner about it though. Hopefully it's cheaper than what Cornell is quoting ($1050 for the series last year). Why this isn't automatically covered by the CVM is beyond me.... :rolleyes:
 

Minnerbelle

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A girl I used to work with would jokingly "try" to get bitten so she could get the vaccine for free. Unfortunately our unvaccinated patients were mostly friendly house cats, so in the end she had to pay the $700 for the series.
Please don't anyone get ideas. That can get the animal and their owners in trouble. That bite has to be reported and the animal will have to be quarantined. Details vary a bit by state, but that's a really crappy thing to do purposely.
 

laitmanvet

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At RVC, even though we don't need it for school, they'll supposedly cover the cost for when we go to the states for EMS...or any other country with rabies.
 

DVMDream

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At RVC, even though we don't need it for school, they'll supposedly cover the cost for when we go to the states for EMS...or any other country with rabies.
Same for Edinburgh... I don't think it is completely free but it is only something like 30-50 pounds for the entire series... I plan on getting it before I go back home again. :)
 

BlackDog17

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Please don't anyone get ideas. That can get the animal and their owners in trouble. That bite has to be reported and the animal will have to be quarantined. Details vary a bit by state, but that's a really crappy thing to do purposely.
I should probably clarify that she wasn't trying to provoke an animal to bite her or anything stupid like that. It was just a running joke: "Bite me and save me a ton of money!"
 

Minnerbelle

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I should probably clarify that she wasn't trying to provoke an animal to bite her or anything stupid like that. It was just a running joke: "Bite me and save me a ton of money!"
Oh yeah I figured that, but this comes up every time rabies vax is mentioned, so I wanted to bring up the consequences for those who might not know better and decide to go that route
 
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I should probably clarify that she wasn't trying to provoke an animal to bite her or anything stupid like that. It was just a running joke: "Bite me and save me a ton of money!"
Along similar lines (I didn't do this, I paid for mine) my friend told her insurance company that she had slept in a building before knowing it had a bat infestation (I'm not sure if this was true or not, but I'm sure I've slept around bats before). She didn't have to prove she got bit, because she didn't know, but insurance did cover it. She can't donate blood though since she got "post-exposure" shots.
 
OP
hygebeorht

hygebeorht

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Along similar lines (I didn't do this, I paid for mine) my friend told her insurance company that she had slept in a building before knowing it had a bat infestation (I'm not sure if this was true or not, but I'm sure I've slept around bats before). She didn't have to prove she got bit, because she didn't know, but insurance did cover it. She can't donate blood though since she got "post-exposure" shots.
She can't donate blood ever again, or just for a little while? I love donating blood and would be really bummed not to be able to.
 

LetItSnow

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She can't donate blood ever again, or just for a little while? I love donating blood and would be really bummed not to be able to.
Not an expert, but I'd guess it's for a set time period, varying by organization and probably in the 3 months to 1 year time frame. Unless the blood organizations are basing their policies off old practices, the only issue should be the Ig that you (may) receive in post-exposure treatment.

Otherwise, the pre-exposure vaccine and post-exposure vaccine are exactly the same thing nowadays. And I've never been asked if I've been vaccinated for rabies up here when I go to donate. And since they actively come into our building and solicit students (most of whom were only vaccinated after they started school) .... I'm thinking it's unlikely it's the actual vaccine.

So that leaves the Ig, which is the only relevant difference between pre-exposure and post-exposure treatment.

Or, maybe this varies by geographical location for some reason I'm not thinking of....
 

cowgirla

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Or maybe they are afraid that post exposure treatment didn't work and she's rabid and they don't want to spread rabies to already sick people :laugh:
 

mas185

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It wasn't required for school in Ireland but since I was going home to do some externships I decided to get one anyway ... I think they charged me 30 euro per shot (series of 3) at a travel clinic (the school health center was charging 50 euro per shot I think just because they didn't keep it in stock) ... but that's way better than what you guys are saying. That's completely insane that it costs $700 at home!! YIKES!
 
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Minnerbelle

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And I've never been asked if I've been vaccinated for rabies up here when I go to donate. And since they actively come into our building and solicit students (most of whom were only vaccinated after they started school) .... I'm thinking it's unlikely it's the actual vaccine.

So that leaves the Ig, which is the only relevant difference between pre-exposure and post-exposure treatment.

Or, maybe this varies by geographical location for some reason I'm not thinking of....
Huh never thought about it, but I'm guessing the problem is the "post-exposure" part, ie the risky bite that may have transmitted rabies. Even though I'm pretty sure no one who's had the post-exposure series within 10 days of the bite has died from rabies, in case immunity was not gained or not in the correct timeframe, I wonder if they do it as a precautionary measure. I can't remember if it was in the US or the specific details, but we learned about a case in immuno where people got really sick (and I presume died) after a transplant from this one donor who was harboring rabies. That may be why they are paranoid. Since the incubation period can be so long, I'm guessing they don't want to chance it. But since the quarantine for a bite of unknown origin in animals is only 6 mos, I doubt they would block blood donors for more than a year. But then you never know... As of now, most places still won't allow gay males to donate unless something's changed (I know they've been trying to change that for a while)...
 

PetPony

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They did a Scrubs episode about a donor transmitting rabies to several people..

But yea, I heard about that happening in my infectious disease class last semester.
 

LetItSnow

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Huh never thought about it, but I'm guessing the problem is the "post-exposure" part, ie the risky bite that may have transmitted rabies. Even though I'm pretty sure no one who's had the post-exposure series within 10 days of the bite has died from rabies, in case immunity was not gained or not in the correct timeframe, I wonder if they do it as a precautionary measure. I can't remember if it was in the US or the specific details, but we learned about a case in immuno where people got really sick (and I presume died) after a transplant from this one donor who was harboring rabies. That may be why they are paranoid. Since the incubation period can be so long, I'm guessing they don't want to chance it. But since the quarantine for a bite of unknown origin in animals is only 6 mos, I doubt they would block blood donors for more than a year. But then you never know... As of now, most places still won't allow gay males to donate unless something's changed (I know they've been trying to change that for a while)...
Yeah, 3 people died in .... 5-10 years ago after transplants from an infected source.

You might be right and it's just a rational approach to the issue: If you're being treated post-exposure, then you might be running around with rabies virus in your tissue, so better safe than sorry. But if that were the case, you'd think the delay of up to a year at one place I glanced at wouldn't be so extreme since you'd have cleared the virus *FAR* earlier. I still wonder if there's something up with the Ig piece of the puzzle.

Up here the major blood donor organizations still block gay males from donating, you are correct.

Meh. You're probably right, it's probably just being ultra-cautious. There are few enough people treated for rabies exposure; it's not like you're really hurting the blood supply by pushing them out six months or a year post Tx.
 
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Not an expert, but I'd guess it's for a set time period, varying by organization and probably in the 3 months to 1 year time frame. Unless the blood organizations are basing their policies off old practices, the only issue should be the Ig that you (may) receive in post-exposure treatment.

Otherwise, the pre-exposure vaccine and post-exposure vaccine are exactly the same thing nowadays. And I've never been asked if I've been vaccinated for rabies up here when I go to donate. And since they actively come into our building and solicit students (most of whom were only vaccinated after they started school) .... I'm thinking it's unlikely it's the actual vaccine.

So that leaves the Ig, which is the only relevant difference between pre-exposure and post-exposure treatment.

Or, maybe this varies by geographical location for some reason I'm not thinking of....
I am pretty sure that they ask if you have had ANY vaccines in the last 90 days(30 days???) not just rabies when you donate blood. At least with the American Red Cross.
 

LetItSnow

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I am pretty sure that they ask if you have had ANY vaccines in the last 90 days(30 days???) not just rabies when you donate blood. At least with the American Red Cross.
"They" do things differently, depending on which organization you are donating through.

Our of curiosity, I went and reviewed the questions the group I donate through asks. It's the "other" big blood organization in our area (I don't know how widespread they are, but up here it's basically them and the ARC, I think.).

They don't ask about any normal vaccines. They don't ask about rabies, either pre- or post-exposure.

They do ask about "experimental" vaccines. And they have a laundry list of drugs you can't be on or have used recently. Places you can't have traveled within a certain time frame. The whole gay or sex-for-money stuff. Your own health status. Tattoos/piercings.

Most of the drugs they ask about are because either the drug/vaccine doesn't actually protect you from infection (and therefore you could still pass it on to a recipient), or because of some other possible detrimental effect (like for a pregnant recipient, for example).

You're right that ARC asks about vaccines. But they distinguish between inactivated and modified live viruses with regard to deferrals from donating.

Bottom line: It appears to differ somewhat organization to organization, and state by state.
 

felinelvr44

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Bumping this...

Has anyone had luck getting a rabies vaccine recently? I tried calling a bunch of travel clinics in NYC and was told that there is a shortage and the only place I could get it was at the hospital... which seems like it would be more expensive than waiting to get it at Cornell. My insurance doesn't cover it so I've been trying to research the cheapest option and didn't expect to run in to this issue with a shortage.

Edited to add: My GP doesn't give the vaccine (and won't order it) and the Health clinic at my undergrad is not an option either. The NP position is vacant so they currently offer zero health services. :laugh:
 
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macita183

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I just finished up the series a couple of weeks ago. I had to go through a doctor's office. They had to special order the vaccine for me since they told me they don't keep it on hand due to a shortage. I'm very lucky since it appears my insurance is going to cover a good chunk of it. They charged $433 per shot plus a $34 fee for the nurse to inject me.
 
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$433 per shot is outrageous!!! I did it through the health dept and it was just under $200 per shot and there was no fee for the nurse. Of course my insurance also did not cover any of it. If you wait until the start of the school year and have insurance through the school they will schedule them and pay up to $500
 

felinelvr44

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$433 per shot is outrageous!!! I did it through the health dept and it was just under $200 per shot and there was no fee for the nurse. Of course my insurance also did not cover any of it. If you wait until the start of the school year and have insurance through the school they will schedule them and pay up to $500
What do you mean "through the health department"? Sorry if that's a silly question, just trying to figure out if this was a city/state/federal office to possibly find one near me. The cheapest I've been able to find is $285/shot but it's a moot point if no travel clinics actually have the vaccine.
 

Frozenshades

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I need to figure out what to do with this. I first got the rabies 3 shot series in April 2011. Not sure if I should get a titer now to check, or just go ahead and get a booster.
 

LetItSnow

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I need to figure out what to do with this. I first got the rabies 3 shot series in April 2011. Not sure if I should get a titer now to check, or just go ahead and get a booster.
Titer is cheap, and many many people don't require a booster for a very long time, if ever.

So I'd do that. Just as a general principle, why inject antigenic proteins into your body if you don't need to?

FWIW, I got my rabies series in ... late 2009, I think. My titer was just done last year and it's still fine.
 

LetItSnow

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Edited to add: My GP doesn't give the vaccine (and won't order it) and the Health clinic at my undergrad is not an option either.
That seems like a really odd stance for your GP to take. I can understand not carrying the vaccine on your shelves, but why would you refuse to order it for a client? There are plenty of jobs where it would be required - why remove those people as potential clients?

I dunno ... something's off here, because refusing to order it doesn't make sense.
 

Emiloo4

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That seems like a really odd stance for your GP to take. I can understand not carrying the vaccine on your shelves, but why would you refuse to order it for a client? There are plenty of jobs where it would be required - why remove those people as potential clients?

I dunno ... something's off here, because refusing to order it doesn't make sense.
Happened to me too. At 2 of my GPs (yes I have two :rolleyes: ). It is too expensive and the whole vial isn't used and expires before they use it on anyone else. And one of my GPs I've known for years and played soccer with her daughter. Even she said no way. :shrug:
 

felinelvr44

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That seems like a really odd stance for your GP to take. I can understand not carrying the vaccine on your shelves, but why would you refuse to order it for a client? There are plenty of jobs where it would be required - why remove those people as potential clients?

I dunno ... something's off here, because refusing to order it doesn't make sense.
I agree. I got shot down by the receptionist who claimed she spoke to the office manager and that this is their new policy. I live in NYC so maybe they think since there are plenty of other places one could get it (like a travel clinic) it's not worth any additional energy/frustration for them to order it. I plan to see my NP for a physical soon so I think I'll ask her directly and see if I get a different answer.

@Emiloo - good to know! Thanks for chiming in with your experience.