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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Vaccinations > Rabies Vaccine

Rabies Vaccine Cost

How Much Does Rabies Vaccine Cost?

average costWith Insurance: $40-$160high costWithout Insurance: $500-$1,200+
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Rabies pre-exposure vaccination typically is recommended for travelers who plan activities that will bring them into contact with wild or domestic animals, or who will be visiting remote areas where medical care might be difficult to obtain or who plan to stay longer than one month in areas where dog rabies is common, such as in developing countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Typical costs:

  • For patients not covered by health insurance, the cost of a rabies vaccination typically includes: a consultation fee, sometimes shot administration fees, and the cost of the three required doses of vaccine for a total of $500 to $1,200. For example, at the Michigan State University Travel Clinic[1] , the cost of a rabies vaccination is at least $35 to $95 for a consultation, depending on how long it lasts; $20 for shot administration ($15 for each additional shot) and $200 each for the three required shots for a total of at least $685. And at Baylor Travel Medicine in Texas, an initial consultation costs $85 to $150, depending on the complexity of the patient's travel itinerary and medical history; a follow-up appointment to administer the vaccine costs $25 to $85; and the vaccine cost is $325 each for a total of at least $1,110.
  • Travel-related vaccinations, such as the rabies vaccination, often are not covered by health insurance because they are considered elective; however, some plans with preventive benefits do cover them.
  • For patients covered by health insurance, typical expenses include a copay of $10 to $40 for the doctor visit and a copay for each dose of the vaccine. For example, this BlueCare Direct HMO[2] covers vaccinations, including those needed for travel, for a $20 copay.
Related articles: Travel Vaccinations, Travel Insurance

What should be included:
  • During the initial travel consultation, a nurse or doctor specializing in travel medicine will ask about your itinerary and activity plans -- and probably will be more likely to recommend the rabies vaccination if you will be spelunking or working with animals.
  • After determining that you need the pre-exposure rabies vaccination, the health care professional will administer three shots: a first dose, a second dose seven days later and a third dose 21 or 28 days after the first dose.
  • The vaccine begins to provide protection in a week to 10 days, and protection lasts at least two years.
  • If you have been vaccinated and are bitten or scratched by an animal, you still must seek treatment immediately. However, having been vaccinated against rabies means that you will need less extensive post-exposure treatment; this can be helpful because rabies treatments are not readily available in some developing countries.
Shopping for rabies vaccine:
  • The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has guidelines[3] on who should receive a rabies pre-exposure vaccine.
  • The CDC also offers resources to help you find a travel clinic[4] .
  • At times, rabies pre-exposure vaccines have been unavailable in the United States because of shortages. The CDC offers a rabies page[5] with information on vaccine availability.
  • According to CDC guidelines[6] , anyone with a compromised immune system, or anyone who has had an allergic reaction in the past, should talk to a doctor before getting a rabies vaccination.
  • Risks and possible side effects associated with rabies vaccination include: headache, nausea, abdominal pain, redness and swelling at the injection site, hives, joint pain and fever. The CDC offers a fact sheet[7] on rabies and the vaccine.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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Rabies Shot
Amount: $1,000.00
Posted by: Bat Girl in Boston, MA.Posted: August 4th, 2017 09:08AM
Insurance: BC/BSMedical Facility: Faulkner Hosp
Rabies Immune Globulin shot alone cost just over $10,000. After Insurance and contractual I owe just over $1,000. That does not include ER charge or admin charges. Plus three more ER shots for follow up shots
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Rabies shots
Amount: $11,000.00
Posted by: Deborah Blackwell in Bartlett, TN.Posted: July 12th, 2017 01:07PM
Insurance: noneMedical Facility: St Frances Hosp
21 yr old grandson/college student, bitten by a bat. He went to St Frances Hospital on Hwy 64 to be treated and was charged $52,000.00 for the vaccination series. Then they dropped it to 11,000.00 which is still ridiculous. It looks like the average cost across the country is 685.00 to 1100.00, not 11,000.00
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Bit on school trip
Amount: $26,000.00
Posted by: Pissed student in Lubbock in Lubbock, TX.Posted: July 9th, 2017 11:07PM
Insurance: SummitMedical Facility: UMC
So I got bit on a wildlife trip. This was mandatory for a class. I got bit by a raccoon. Wasn't going to go to the hospital bc I can't afford a doctors visit. The only reason I went was bc my prof. Said that the school would cover it. The school will only cover $5,000 of it so I'm up the creek without a paddle. It's great that it doesn't cost but maybe a couple hundred dollars to manufacture the vaccine my now I, a broke college student, has to pay more than all my classes for a year cost.
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Rabies vaccine in 2014 - Wareham, MA
Amount: $1,100.00
Posted by: John t. in Wareham, MA.Posted: May 1st, 2017 12:05PM
Insurance: ~$10,000Medical Facility: Toby hospital
In 2014 I needed a set of rabies shots after a raccoon attack. With excellent insurance it cost me $1,100.
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Reason for price discrepancy
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: a user in St Augustine, FL.Posted: February 27th, 2017 07:02PM
My sister is a pharmacist and just told me why some people are paying approx 1200 and others are paying 20k. Thet post-exposure vaccine contains an immunoglobulin complex that is not present in the pre-exposure vaccine. This immunoglobulin complex is what is so pricey. Still highway robbery, but at least this explains the price discrepancy.
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Rabies Vaccine Treatment
Amount: $2,103.99
Posted by: DJP in Lowell, MA.Posted: January 10th, 2017 06:01AM
Insurance: UnitedHealthcareMedical Facility: Lowell General Hospital
My husband was scratched while trying to assist an injured cat. His doctor recommended the rabies series -- to the tune of $9,663.00! After the insurance payments/adjustments ($6,657.31), the remaining cost for us was $3,005.69. Asking for and obtaining mediation from the Health Care Division at the Attorney General's Office helped us to obtain a more "reasonable" amount -- $2,103.99.
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Rabies Shots
Amount: $29,000.00
Posted by: Tom Michael in Fort Collins, CO.Posted: October 18th, 2016 02:10PM
Insurance: YesMedical Facility: PVH
I can only assume this article is outdated, it makes you think the cost is at most a few thousand. Even though it was covered by our insurance, I am just amazed that the Pharmacy charge for the rabie shots for my wife was over $29,000! The hospital said they can charge what they want. That's just not right!
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Bit by bat
Amount: $4,200.00
Posted by: Caros in Richmond, VA.Posted: September 23rd, 2016 08:09PM
Insurance: Piedmont Community HealthMedical Facility: Community Memorial
I am a doctor. I was bitten at night in my back yard. Next day I went to the office and tried to get the Human Rabies Immunoglobulin to no avail. Called health dept and was told I had to go to the ER. Just got the itemized bill...the total was $42,000! Four shots immune globulin, 1 rabies, and a Benadryl. Insurance paid all but $4200...the REAL cost of the immune globulin would have been $3000.
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Rabies vaccine
Amount: $1,150.02
Posted by: Melissa Pelham in Des Moines, IA.Posted: August 23rd, 2016 07:08AM
Insurance: UHCMedical Facility: Mercy Medical Center
Went to the ER with a squirrel bite and the ER charge at Stewart Memorial was $200. Called around to find easiest, cheapest way to do the next 3. Went in as outpatient for 3 shots and have to pay $1150.02. Could have paid $600 if I would have just went to ER 3 more times.
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Rabbies 4 shots In New Jersey HeckenSack Medical center
Amount: $2,000.00
Posted by: Ajeet Gavali in Bothell, WA.Posted: August 3rd, 2016 01:08PM
Insurance: United Health CareMedical Facility: HeckenSack Medical center
My son was admitted in hospital for a Racoon Bite. He was released next day. A week later when the result came positive for Rabbies for the Raccoon,we were contacted by hospital and health department to come and take the shots .Those were 4 scheduled visits. But Hospital billed insurance as emergency services when the services were of not an emergency in nature. They should have billed as Out patient visits. Hospital is saying they cant correct the billed code it right now and Insurance is saying its 500 per visit copay because of the code they used. WHAT are out options. This sounds like a SCAM.
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Rabies Vaccine
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: a user in Durham, NC.Posted: July 25th, 2016 11:07AM
Insurance: Blue CrossMedical Facility: Duke Regional
I was bitten by a stray cat. The next day my hand and fingers were swollen. Urgent Care refused any treatment (since they don't do rabies shots), called animal control and sent me to the ER for rabies shots. I got 2 shots in each thigh and one in the arm. With the adjustments, my co-pay, and less than $6000 paid by insurance, my portion was still almost $4000. Am appealing this bill.
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Rabies Vaccine
Amount: $15,000.00
Posted by: a user in Lowell, MI.Posted: September 23rd, 2015 10:09AM
Insurance: Blue Cross - Blue ShieldMedical Facility: Greenville, Michigan
Although there wasn't proof that we were bit by 2 different bats, my wife and I (at the strong encouragement from our 2 daughters, both Nurses), went to the ER for our vaccinations. At the initial visit, I received 6 shots and she got 4. We both had 3 shot subsequent to that. Grand total was nearly $15k, and insurance covered all of it.
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Rabies Injection
Amount: $2,200.00
Posted by: Sandeep Mondkar in San Mateo, CA.Posted: September 5th, 2015 03:09PM
Insurance: Blue Cross CaliforniaMedical Facility:
My son was scratched my a dog when we were overseas, so he got his 1st shot overseas for 40 $ (yes 40$). We travelled back to California and then for his next shot had to go to San Mateo Medical center. Guess what the next 3 shots were around 2300 $. really !!!!. I could have afforded an overseas trip and injections. This is shocking, blue shield California did not pay anything. We are from New Zealand and this vaccination is free...
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Rabies Vaccine
Amount: $15,000.00
Posted by: Ouch in New York in Schenectady, NY.Posted: May 27th, 2015 05:05PM
Insurance: Medical Facility: Ellis Hospital
The bills first came to me, but were paid by county Health Department and Ins. The bill came to just under 30,000.00 for two people.
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Rabies Shots
Amount: $1,662.82
Posted by: Vivian in Roanoke, VA.Posted: May 21st, 2015 08:05AM
Insurance: Medical Facility: Carilion Clinic
My daughter was scratched by a stray cat. She's away at college. She went to get rabies shots and the original bill was $14,411.50. Our insurance paid all but $1662. This is outrageous. She didn't need to see a surgeon or a specialist! No extra's or special attention. She was given an initial shot and then booster shots. How can anyone justify charging someone $14,411 for several shots. This has to be stopped. This is the problem with our country today. Do I have any legal recourse to not pay this bill? Anyone out there?
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Rabies Post-Exposure Prophylaxis
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: J&G in Bremerton, WA.Posted: May 2nd, 2015 10:05AM
Insurance: First Choice/BCBSMedical Facility: Harrison Hospital, Bremerton, WA
My husband and I woke up to find a bat crawling on our bare bodies, being chased by our cats. It escaped into a closet and we couldn't find it later. We both had to have PEP, at a cost of $21, 540 for the hospital ER treatment with HRIG and Rabavert vaccine. Each of the subsequent 3 rabies vaccinations had to be given at the hospital's infusion center at a cost of over $2200 for each one of us, every time - so, the total cost of this life-threatening escapade was over $48,000. Thankfully, our insurance paid almost all of this cost (after some wrangling), but this seems outrageously excessive for a a few shots. I guess they just expect people that can't afford decent insurance to either go bankrupt or die of rabies! Nice choice there, huh? There's just no way it costs the hospital that much to stock or give a few shots. This needs to be investigated!
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Kaiser NorCal
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Traveling Kidlet in Santa Clara, CA.Posted: February 17th, 2015 03:02PM
Insurance: Kaiser NorCalMedical Facility: Santa Clara Medical Center
In prep for a school trip to the philippines, my 8 year old was given typhoid and a 3-series rabies vaccines. It was 100% covered with our plan in Feb 2015.
The pulldown menu below will not let me choose 2015.
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Rabies treatment
Amount: $26,670.00
Posted by: AliKat in Guilford, CT.Posted: January 9th, 2015 03:01AM
Insurance: DTB-CIGNAMedical Facility: Yale Emergency
Got mauled by a cat that had run away from its owner. Owner wasn't available to get vaccination papers so emergency room doctor said I needed rabies treatment. Later found the owner and got proof of vaccination, so did not have the additional shots after the 1st round. The total above was for initial round of treatment. Insurance is refusing to pay. Still fighting this after a year and a half. Why are the costs so variable by facility and location? I think partly because I am being surcharged for all those who do not have insurance and are running to the emergency room for colds. Lots of those in New Haven. It's theft. Especially when my insurance won't pay and I am stuck with this outrageous bill!
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Rabies Vaccine
Amount: $14,000.00
Posted by: Christy Parler Smith in Bluffton/Ridgeland, SC.Posted: November 9th, 2014 04:11AM
Insurance: noneMedical Facility: Coastal Carolina Medical Center
I was bitten by a Pitt Bull used for fighting with no shot records of confirmed owner. It took 4 days for DHEC to contact and quarantine. By then I had been told to start the shots by Med Center. Emergency room was 250 each time and 1170. from pharmacy just for first shots and the one 3 days later.. then 2 bills for 550 each for the doc at ER that didn't even touch me.. DHEC said dog was ok before 3rd shot was due, so I only got the first 2 sets and globulin.. 5 years ago the SCHD used to give these for less than 300 for the set.. Greed is rampant.. and the doc's don't care about anything but profit.. will check the allowable wholesale cost..
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Pre-Exposure Rabies Vaccine
Amount: $1,155.00
Posted by: Adventure traveler in Washington, DC.Posted: October 24th, 2014 07:10AM
Insurance: Aetna/CVSMedical Facility:
Received the pre-exposure 3-shot series in anticipation of hiking trips in Peru, Kenya, and Tanzania. Each of the three shots was $325, plus some miscellaneous fees for a pre-insurance total of $1,155. My insurance covered 80%.
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: kitten in new haven, CT.Posted: October 6th, 2014 05:10PM
Insurance: Husky DMedical Facility: Yale
I brought a stray kitten into the home who had dormant rabies and began showing nervous system failure. No bites, I cleaned his eyes, and also allowed him to rest with me, but no open wounds exposed. He had been neutered at the vet and they did no notice symptoms. When we returned to the vet for nervous system failure he discovered a wound on the foot from before I found him, and vet became very concerned. Federal insurance covers me for series but uninsured roommates are looking at about $1,500 cost and booster for my other animals will cost $500. Why is there no safe and cheap rabies vaccination?
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Rabbies Post Exposure Category II
Amount: $1,856.00
Posted by: Cautious in Kerrville in Kerrvile, TX.Posted: September 18th, 2014 06:09PM
Insurance: Private PayMedical Facility: Kerrville Vaccine Clinic
My cat was in a fight with some animal outside front door. Woke to cat scream. Found cat's back covered in saliva. Checked cats back for wounds by digging through thick, fluffy white hair. She was not bit. But my hands cleaned up saliva, dug for wounds. Realized after the fact potential risk. Do not recall if I had scratches, open skin in hands. Not worried about cat. Having post-exposure round of Ivomax vaccinations, no HRIG, per Category II on World Health Organization info. Result is expensive peace of mind. We have had skunks and raccoons at our house. Thinking if was a raccoon to leave that amount of saliva! Worth every penny for vaccination! Thanks Doc and clinic!
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Outrageous cost!
Amount: $9,000.00
Posted by: Kjkpsyd in Billings, MT.Posted: August 30th, 2014 10:08AM
Insurance: UnitedHealthe careMedical Facility:
We just hit the preliminary bill before insurance. Insane! A bat crawled up my leg then I kicked it. Off. Couldn't tell whether I was bit or not. After hearing the costs and realizing the incidence of rabies deaths are so low, I should have taken my chances!!
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First round of rabies vaccine
Amount: $22,338.00
Posted by: JD in Hampton, GA in Fayetteville, GA.Posted: July 28th, 2014 09:07AM
Insurance: NoneMedical Facility: Piedmont hospital
Had a pack of dogs in my yard, one bit me. They were wild, no tag, no collar. Animal control did catch them but could not advise if I needed to get rabies vaccine and told me to see my doctor. I was advised by my doctor with the situation to start getting rabies vaccine. Hospital reduced the bill to 13,400 since I had no insurance. Absolutely absurd. Talk about feeling violated twice. Rabies will kill you either way.
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