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Rabies vaccine

Level Contributor
6 posts
13 reviews
Rabies vaccine

Do I really need the rabies vaccine? I will be visiting Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. I’m not going off the beaten track. I’m getting conflicting info

Would appreciate comments


8 replies to this topic
1. Re: Rabies vaccine

I'm going to visit these three countries in Dec. The travel clinic here has advised against the vaccine. It has nasty side effects, and if bitten you are required additional shots, even if vaccinated (less though). I have decided not to take that vaccine. Will do other standard ones.

Exeter, United...
Level Contributor
67 posts
46 reviews
2. Re: Rabies vaccine

We have been advised to have the Rabies vaccination as we will be off the beaten track and cycling quite a lot! I just wanted to say we have started our course and have not had any side effects at all!

Level Contributor
6,562 posts
95 reviews
3. Re: Rabies vaccine

Not one expat I know has had rabies shots. #2 I don't know who or what advised you, but if it was a clinic then I would change my doctor.

Level Contributor
2,043 posts
52 reviews
4. Re: Rabies vaccine




Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
1,784 posts
119 reviews
5. Re: Rabies vaccine

I go to Laos on a regular basis and I have had my rabies shots!

Exeter, United...
Level Contributor
67 posts
46 reviews
6. Re: Rabies vaccine

Thank you, that’s helpful to know that other people are having them!

Greater London...
Level Contributor
101 posts
215 reviews
7. Re: Rabies vaccine

I would highly advise you to get the rabies vaccine. Rabies is very very nasty if you contract it. If you don't get the required medical help you will die a horrible, slow, frightening and painful death. If you don't get it and contract rabies then you have a short period of around 24 hours (could be less or more depending on where you are bitten) to get to a hospital and receive an immunoglobulin shot and 5 shots of the rabies vaccine. The hospitals are not up to the level of the west and they may not even have immunoglobulin. You would then need to fly out of the country to a more developed nation. It's basically a race against time and bearing in mind the infrastructure is often very slow do you really want to take that risk?

Chances are you will almost certainly not be bitten by a rabid animal but it could happen. It's rare but it's possible. If you get the shots you have longer to get to the hospital because your body has built up some antibodies to fight the infection. Definitely go for the vaccine. I've had it with no side affects at all.

4 posts
8. Re: Rabies vaccine

As 7 above, you would be rather foolish not to have the vaccine if you are likely to come into contact with suspect animals. Cycling for example...

Rabies is serious. A rabies jab (3 in total) is not. Re-read above post carefully.

If a Doctor has advised you not to have it, it is probably because you are not going 'off the beaten track' or only on a short visit. That's fair enough. If you are on a longer trip, or off the beaten track, seek a second opinion.

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