Rabies vaccine sales restrictions lifted

Published on October 17, 2009
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Health officials and suppliers are no longer restricting purchases of pre-exposure rabies vaccine from either of the nation's suppliers.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced in late August that Sanofi Pasteur had finished renovations at a rabies vaccine production facility in France, and the restored manufacturing capacity coincided with the end of restrictions on pre-exposure vaccine purchases from that company. The CDC announced in spring that Novartis Vaccines now has enough vaccine to sell doses for pre-exposure prophylaxis, but Sanofi Pasteur's vaccines were still restricted to postexposure use at that time.

State and federal health officials and vaccine manufacturers restricted vaccinations starting in May 2008. Sanofi Pasteur and Novartis Vaccines, the nation's two human-use rabies vaccine suppliers, were unable to produce enough vaccine to keep up with historical demand, and they began selling vaccine only for postexposure prophylaxis at that time.