Where can I get the rabies pre-exposure vaccine?

peytonbramlett

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Hi all,

I am in need of the rabies vaccine series Rabavert or Ivomax in order to volunteer with a wildlife sanctuary. My insurance says they will cover it completely, as long as the place accepts my insurance. The only two places I have found that do it are Passport Health (does not accept any insurance at all - not an option) and Walgreens (not allowed to give any vaccinations right now due to COVID-19). Any hospital or primary care provider I call seems to have no idea what I'm talking about, they always think I'm talking about post-exposure (they say they have never done pre-exposure before apparently) and ask me if I have been bitten and then direct me towards each other or DHEC. I've also tried DHEC and they say hospitals/primary care providers. I've also tried extensive online research and it basically results in "the vaccine exists" but I can never find any information about where to get it (other than Passport Health). Thanks in advance!
 

SardonicWit

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I just completed my rabies pre-exposure series at Walgreens, so apparently there isn't a company-wide ban on vaccines due to Covid-19. Do you happen to know the details on this? If it's something coming down from your state, you probably can't get around it, but if it's a store policy, perhaps a different Walgreens would be more helpful?

Totally random thought... I was talking with a deputy in animal control here (don't ask), and they're all supposed to have pre-exposure rabies vaccines. Maybe try calling them for ideas. Once they get over the panic of thinking you've been bitten by something, they may have recommendations.

On a side note, I'm a bit jealous your insurance will cover it. Mine would only consider that if I'd been bitten. Once I heard the price of the series, I have to admit, I considered getting friendly with some sickly-looking raccoons.
 
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llamasandcows

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Well, it works!

*should go without saying but I obviously did not do this on purpose. also it was a skunk, not a raccoon.
The wildlife vet I used to work for told me you can go to urgent care and tell them "there was a bat in my room last night, I might have been bitten" and they will vaccinate you... I can't confirm if this works... but American healthcare is $*&% so work the system........:p
 
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finnickthedog

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The wildlife vet I used to work for told me you can go to urgent care and tell them "there was a bat in my room last night, I might have been bitten" and they will vaccinate you... I can't confirm if this works... but American healthcare is $*&% so work the system........:p

It should work since you can easily be bitten by a bat and not know it so unless they want to jump through hoops to try and prove you're lying...

I wasn't even bitten. I just handled a dead skunk that was suspected (and later confirmed) to be rabid. At any rate, 14 years later my vaccines are still working for me so... I guess I owe that skunk some gratitude for saving me money?
 

SardonicWit

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The wildlife vet I used to work for told me you can go to urgent care and tell them "there was a bat in my room last night, I might have been bitten" and they will vaccinate you... I can't confirm if this works... but American healthcare is $*&% so work the system........:p

Just a consideration here... I believe the recommended post-exposure vaccination protocol is four vaccines plus a dose of rabies immune globulin, whereas the pre-exposure protocol is three vaccines (no RIG).

That said, props to finnickthedog. That skunk would have saved me almost $1200. You need to put up a little shrine or something in its honor.
 

MixedAnimals77

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Just a consideration here... I believe the recommended post-exposure vaccination protocol is four vaccines plus a dose of rabies immune globulin, whereas the pre-exposure protocol is three vaccines (no RIG).

That said, props to finnickthedog. That skunk would have saved me almost $1200. You need to put up a little shrine or something in its honor.
IDK if it would've saved you money pry depends on insurance and area. My friend had to get post exposure and it ended up costing her more than the 1200 after insurance so yeah just depends on what level of S*** insurance you have
 
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EngrSC

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Adding this tidbit for anyone with Tricare insurance ... I was able to get my rabies pre-exposure series at the base clinic for free even though I’m on Tricare Select (I’m a military dependent). Probably best to call the individual vaccine clinic to verify they have it before showing up but the nearest clinic to me (on a pretty small base) has literally every vaccine under the sun! :)
 
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J.Bed

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Hi all,

I am in need of the rabies vaccine series Rabavert or Ivomax in order to volunteer with a wildlife sanctuary. My insurance says they will cover it completely, as long as the place accepts my insurance. The only two places I have found that do it are Passport Health (does not accept any insurance at all - not an option) and Walgreens (not allowed to give any vaccinations right now due to COVID-19). Any hospital or primary care provider I call seems to have no idea what I'm talking about, they always think I'm talking about post-exposure (they say they have never done pre-exposure before apparently) and ask me if I have been bitten and then direct me towards each other or DHEC. I've also tried DHEC and they say hospitals/primary care providers. I've also tried extensive online research and it basically results in "the vaccine exists" but I can never find any information about where to get it (other than Passport Health). Thanks in advance!

I actually had better luck with mom and pop pharmacies that could order the vaccine versus Walgreens and Kroger. Also, have you expanded your search area? Driving an hour each way just 3x is way better to me than paying $1200!
 
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Minnerbelle

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Hi all,

I am in need of the rabies vaccine series Rabavert or Ivomax in order to volunteer with a wildlife sanctuary. My insurance says they will cover it completely, as long as the place accepts my insurance. The only two places I have found that do it are Passport Health (does not accept any insurance at all - not an option) and Walgreens (not allowed to give any vaccinations right now due to COVID-19). Any hospital or primary care provider I call seems to have no idea what I'm talking about, they always think I'm talking about post-exposure (they say they have never done pre-exposure before apparently) and ask me if I have been bitten and then direct me towards each other or DHEC. I've also tried DHEC and they say hospitals/primary care providers. I've also tried extensive online research and it basically results in "the vaccine exists" but I can never find any information about where to get it (other than Passport Health). Thanks in advance!

Did you just randomly contact hospitals and primary care provider, or did you actually contact your personal PCP? Like, when some rando non-client calls about some random hormonal testing for their dog or something that I don’t typically deal with, they’re told to make an appt or call a repro person. I don’t bother looking this **** up until they actually become a client.

I’ve been able to get my rabies vaccines ordered through my PCP, and I’ve had a few different ones over the years. Every time I switch PCPs, I’m like the first person they’ve either had to vaccinate or order a rabies titer for. But they figure it out and do it. They usually have to special order the rabies vax unless it’s an ER.
 
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Trilt

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Adding this tidbit for anyone with Tricare insurance ... I was able to get my rabies pre-exposure series at the base clinic for free even though I’m on Tricare Select (I’m a military dependent). Probably best to call the individual vaccine clinic to verify they have it before showing up but the nearest clinic to me (on a pretty small base) has literally every vaccine under the sun! :)
On the contrary, I was completely denied pre-exposure vaccine as a military dependent... despite working with wildlife and feral cats on a routine basis, and escalating to talking to the base's epidemiologist to try and plead my case. :lame:

This was like a decade ago, though. I think @WildZoo did have success getting Tricare to cover hers, so maybe things have just changed?
 

WildZoo

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This was like a decade ago, though. I think @WildZoo did have success getting Tricare to cover hers, so maybe things have just changed?
Yeah I was able to get the whole series covered in 2015. They didn't even give me any trouble over it, I was just like "yo I need rabies vaccine for school" and they were like "k cool"


That's probably paraphrased
 

EngrSC

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On the contrary, I was completely denied pre-exposure vaccine as a military dependent... despite working with wildlife and feral cats on a routine basis, and escalating to talking to the base's epidemiologist to try and plead my case. :lame:

This was like a decade ago, though. I think @WildZoo did have success getting Tricare to cover hers, so maybe things have just changed?
Yeah I was able to get the whole series covered in 2015. They didn't even give me any trouble over it, I was just like "yo I need rabies vaccine for school" and they were like "k cool"


That's probably paraphrased

When I called Tricare they said they would not cover pre-exposure rabies. But when I called the vaccine clinic directly they said yeah, no problem. That was in March and I haven’t received a bill or nasty gram or anything!
 

MixedAnimals77

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When I called Tricare they said they would not cover pre-exposure rabies. But when I called the vaccine clinic directly they said yeah, no problem. That was in March and I haven’t received a bill or nasty gram or anything!
I feel like this is a thing with insurance in general from the different rabies conversations that have happened on this form. BCBS said multiple times at different time points they would NOT cover rabies vax. Covered 100% (we had med our deductible otherwise would have been covered with me owing % deductible)
 

EngrSC

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I feel like this is a thing with insurance in general from the different rabies conversations that have happened on this form. BCBS said multiple times at different time points they would NOT cover rabies vax. Covered 100% (we had med our deductible otherwise would have been covered with me owing % deductible)
I wonder if insurance companies get the inquiry so infrequently (or never really) so they don’t know what to do with us?
 

SkiOtter

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My insurance said they would not cover it even if I had already met my deductible. So I waited until the next cycle so it would at least count towards a new deductible. Guess who covered it fully but covers next to nothing else until I meet my deductible??
 
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MixedAnimals77

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I wonder if insurance companies get the inquiry so infrequently (or never really) so they don’t know what to do with us?
yeah IDK we had gone as far as preapproval process one time while I was working at a clinic and then insurance said they were going to deny so we decided to wait until I came to vet school. Called them when I wanted to get it done through the school and said it was going to be denied but figured it'd at least go towards deduct so decided to do it anyway. Same exact insurance policy and company so honestly idk
 

Sneffles

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I wonder if insurance companies get the inquiry so infrequently (or never really) so they don’t know what to do with us?
That was my experience with my insurance company. After explaining to the person I was talking to that, no, I had not been bitten by anything, she told me that she had never had anyone ask her about the pre-exposure rabies vaccine before. I was then put on hold for about half an hour, after which I was told that it wouldn’t be covered.

On a side note, I know someone who said that her insurance didn’t even fully cover the post-exposure rabies series, and she still had to pay over $1000.
 

finnickthedog

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Did you just randomly contact hospitals and primary care provider, or did you actually contact your personal PCP? Like, when some rando non-client calls about some random hormonal testing for their dog or something that I don’t typically deal with, they’re told to make an appt or call a repro person. I don’t bother looking this **** up until they actually become a client.

I’ve been able to get my rabies vaccines ordered through my PCP, and I’ve had a few different ones over the years. Every time I switch PCPs, I’m like the first person they’ve either had to vaccinate or order a rabies titer for. But they figure it out and do it. They usually have to special order the rabies vax unless it’s an ER.

My personal PCP wouldn't even get me the vaccine. I had discussed it with her when I was struggling to get records of my previous vaccines and thought I'd have to just do them again. Apparently they won't do it at my PCP's office because when they used to to they would order the series and people would get one, then not come back for the rest of them? At least that's the reason I was given for why it was a no go.
 
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EngrSC

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My personal PCP wouldn't even get me the vaccine. I had discussed it with her when I was struggling to get records of my previous vaccines and thought I'd have to just do them again. Apparently they won't do it at my PCP's office because when they used to to they would order the series and people would get one, then not come back for the rest of them? At least that's the reason I was given for why it was a no go.
I had the same experience with my PCP before I knew I could go to the vaccine clinic on base. A week or so later I was getting groceries in Publix and decided to ask the pharmacy about it for funsies. The guy looked at me like I was mentally unstable :laugh:

Note: Publix pharmacies supposedly cannot (or choose not to, not sure) give rabies vaccines
 

SkiOtter

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My personal PCP wouldn't even get me the vaccine. I had discussed it with her when I was struggling to get records of my previous vaccines and thought I'd have to just do them again. Apparently they won't do it at my PCP's office because when they used to to they would order the series and people would get one, then not come back for the rest of them? At least that's the reason I was given for why it was a no go.
Yep that’s why my PCP wouldn’t order it for me either. I was v sad that I had to drive to a Walgreens 45 minutes away because they were the only one who could order it/get it in stock when I was getting mine
 

britzen

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Well, it works!

*should go without saying but I obviously did not do this on purpose. also it was a skunk, not a raccoon.

I went with getting bitten in the middle of nowhere by a feral cat that had "bite wounds of an unknown origin." He then ran off and we didn't see him for a long time and I was sure he had run off into the woods to die. Fun fun fun.

He was totally was fine, though, the little jerk.
(Well, maybe not *fine* given all the bite wounds, but not rabid.)
 
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SouthernDuchess

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"I just completed my rabies pre-exposure series at Walgreens, so apparently there isn't a company-wide ban on vaccines due to Covid-19. Do you happen to know the details on this? If it's something coming down from your state, you probably can't get around it, but if it's a store policy, perhaps a different Walgreens would be more helpful?"

Do you mid sharing how much you paid for the series from Walgreens? My insurance won't cover it and county health department quoted me $369/shot.
 

britzen

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"I just completed my rabies pre-exposure series at Walgreens, so apparently there isn't a company-wide ban on vaccines due to Covid-19. Do you happen to know the details on this? If it's something coming down from your state, you probably can't get around it, but if it's a store policy, perhaps a different Walgreens would be more helpful?"

Do you mid sharing how much you paid for the series from Walgreens? My insurance won't cover it and county health department quoted me $369/shot.

$300+ is pretty typical per shot. (No specific info on Walgreen's... you'll have to wait for @SardonicWit for the most up to date info about there)
 

SardonicWit

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"I just completed my rabies pre-exposure series at Walgreens, so apparently there isn't a company-wide ban on vaccines due to Covid-19. Do you happen to know the details on this? If it's something coming down from your state, you probably can't get around it, but if it's a store policy, perhaps a different Walgreens would be more helpful?"

Do you mid sharing how much you paid for the series from Walgreens? My insurance won't cover it and county health department quoted me $369/shot.

Mine have been $375/shot at Walgreens. They keep reminding me that I can log in with my Balance Rewards account and get points. I was all excited thinking I was racking up points on $1125 in total. HA. Turns out you get 100 points per vaccination regardless of price, which translates to 10 cents.

So, I mean... if you have a Balance Rewards account, it will ultimately cost you a mere $374.90 per vaccine.
 
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Minnerbelle

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My personal PCP wouldn't even get me the vaccine. I had discussed it with her when I was struggling to get records of my previous vaccines and thought I'd have to just do them again. Apparently they won't do it at my PCP's office because when they used to to they would order the series and people would get one, then not come back for the rest of them? At least that's the reason I was given for why it was a no go.

That’s lame!
 

peytonbramlett

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Did you just randomly contact hospitals and primary care provider, or did you actually contact your personal PCP? Like, when some rando non-client calls about some random hormonal testing for their dog or something that I don’t typically deal with, they’re told to make an appt or call a repro person. I don’t bother looking this **** up until they actually become a client.

I’ve been able to get my rabies vaccines ordered through my PCP, and I’ve had a few different ones over the years. Every time I switch PCPs, I’m like the first person they’ve either had to vaccinate or order a rabies titer for. But they figure it out and do it. They usually have to special order the rabies vax unless it’s an ER.
Yeah I contacted my PCP and the local hospitals I have been to.
 

LetItSnow

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Did you just randomly contact hospitals and primary care provider, or did you actually contact your personal PCP? Like, when some rando non-client calls about some random hormonal testing for their dog or something that I don’t typically deal with, they’re told to make an appt or call a repro person. I don’t bother looking this **** up until they actually become a client.

I’ve been able to get my rabies vaccines ordered through my PCP, and I’ve had a few different ones over the years. Every time I switch PCPs, I’m like the first person they’ve either had to vaccinate or order a rabies titer for. But they figure it out and do it. They usually have to special order the rabies vax unless it’s an ER.

That was my experience. My GP even had the label out to read about it to find out what the vaccination schedule was. He said he hadn't done it before. And this is a guy that's been practicing ... at least 25 years.

But they ordered it and did it for me. Didn't give me any trouble about it.
 
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