Rabies Biologicals

Immunization Branch

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As mandated by outTexas Health and Safety Code (826.025), the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) supplies post-exposure rabies biologicals (vaccines and rabies immune globulin) only for persons with known or suspected exposures to rabid or potentially rabid animals. DSHS does not, however, dispense vaccine for pre-exposure prophylaxis.

The Immunization Branch purchases and provides rabies biologicals to the DSHS Health Service Region offices and vaccine depots--usually local health departments or hospitals. All rabies biological reimbursements are processed through the Immunization Branch central office in Austin. Although DSHS requires reimbursement for these biologicals, no one who has a valid exposure to rabies will be denied access to post-exposure treatment because of their inability to pay.

Depending upon the Health Service Region, Zoonosis Control Branch or Immunization Branch staff manages the inventory and distribution of rabies biologicals in their offices and in established depots. Staff collect surveillance information (mandated by Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 97.123 "Provision of Anti-Rabies Biologicals"); provide technical assistance to physicians and their patients regarding post-exposure prophylaxis; follow up on bite reports from local animal control agencies; dispense rabies biologicals as needed; and obtain reimbursement information and agreements.

For more information on the guidelines for post-exposure rabies prophylaxis, visit the Zoonosis Control Branch website, or contact Zoonosis Control at 512.776.7255. For more information on the availability of rabies biologicals, please contact the Texas Department of State Health Services, Immunization Branch at 888.963.7111.

Last updated January 7, 2016