Merial's IMRAB animal-use rabies vaccines were out of stock as of early March because of manufacturing defects, a company spokeswoman said.
The temporary short supply affected all of the company's IMRAB vaccines, which are IMRAB 1, IMRAB 1 TF, IMRAB 3, IMRAB 3 TF, and IMRAB Large Animal, spokeswoman Natasha Joseph said. The manufacturing defects were found in a small number of vials, and vaccines that had been released to markets were considered safe and effective.
After reporting the problems to the Department of Agriculture, Merial continued to work with the USDA toward returning to production, Joseph said, adding that Merial would inform veterinarian customers when more information becomes available.
Joelle Hayden, a spokeswoman for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said she could not provide details on the manufacturing problems or the expected time resumption time for production because they are considered confidential business information.
The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians provides a list of animal-use rabies vaccines in the organization's Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control, 2008. To view the document, go to www.nasphv.org, mouse over the "Documents" heading and click on "Compendia" and then on "Animal Rabies Compendium."
The compendium is also available in the May 15, 2008, edition of JAVMA at http://avmajournals.avma.org.