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Delaware Health Alert Network #156

September 2, 2008 11:21 am

Health Advisory

Posted: August 29, 2008

As of August 29, 2008, Sanofi Pasteur in coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will resume shipping IMOVAX® Rabies, Rabies Vaccine for post-exposure prophylaxis only.

Novartis Vaccines will no longer be shipping supplies of RabAvert®.

To obtain IMOVAX rabies vaccine you must first contact the Division of Public Health (DPH) Rabies Program (302-744-4545) so a risk-assessment can be conducted for the suspected exposure. If DPH determines that post-exposure prophylaxis is required they will provide you with a pass code to place on the Sanofi Pasteur Rabies Post-Exposure Form.

The form must be filled out in its entirety, including the required physician’s signature and pass code provided by Rabies Program staff. Please contact Sanofi Pasteur at 1-800-VACCINE to obtain the required form.

Note:  The Pass Code changes frequently so you will need to contact DPH to conduct a risk-assessment after each new suspected exposure.

Vaccine availability for pre-exposure vaccination continues to be limited, and will be distributed on approval from DPH in collaboration with CDC for those first responders with a critical need and in consideration of available supplies. These measures will allow responsible management of currently limited supplies of this vaccine for those individuals at highest risk of exposure.

Both Novartis Vaccines and Sanofi Pasteur remain in close contact with public health authorities to ensure that guidelines for appropriate usage of vaccine for PEP are communicated to medical providers.

Discussions among federal and state public health personnel are ongoing to review additional strategies to manage this situation.

For more information regarding rabies vaccine supply, contact the DPH Rabies Program at (302) 744-4545 or the CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO or visit

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