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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
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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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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Rabies series
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: KittenBitten in Northern, CA.Posted: July 28th, 2014 01:07AM
Insurance: Kaiser PermanenteMedical Facility: Northern CA
Immunoglobulin and four Rabavert injections after injured kitten bit me slightly, died and the body was discarded before testing. KP did not charge me.
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post exposure Rabies treatment
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Michael J. McAlister in Cottonwood, AZ.Posted: May 23rd, 2014 03:05PM
Insurance: Cigna (NALC)Medical Facility: Camp Verde Medical Center
My wife got either a small bite or scratch from a bat she disturbed while cleaning weeds from underneath one of our Arizona Cypress trees. Called Dr. who said "we don't/can't administer a rabies series go to the ER". Initial treatment rabies, immune Globulin, less than 1 vial but 8 injections all around site and in both arms and thighs($26,000.00) rabies vacine ($3300.00 ea for initial and 3 subsequent shots) Miscellaneous other Dr and Er charges (3 doctors bill but newver saw a Dr.)for at grand total of over $42,000.00. That the hospital can bill with a straight face is hard to believe. This is nothing more than legalized extortion. Obama Care is going to fix all this, right? Yeah RIGHT!!!
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Rabies vaccination
Amount: $8,991.95
Posted by: J.F.B. in Freeport, ME.Posted: January 14th, 2014 04:01PM
Insurance: BC/BSMedical Facility: Mid Coast Hospital
I was attacked by a fox, not to be confused with a human female fox. I was walking my dog and it came from someplace and wanted a piece of me. I beat it away three times finally my dog chased it away. Thank god he was not hurt. I have to pay my 150.00 deductible for each visit. Didn't think 12 shots would cost that much.
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Amount: $576.08
Posted by: SRWHEEL in WICHITA, KS.Posted: October 31st, 2013 11:10AM
Insurance: BCBS FEHBMedical Facility: WESLEY
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Govt Gurl in Lewisburg, PA.Posted: October 22nd, 2013 08:10AM
Insurance: Fed Bc BSMedical Facility: Evangelical, Lewisburg
I am currently undergoing the rabies vacc as I had contact (held, etc.) with a positive kitten. I called BC and BS (I am a federal employee) and she told me the shots would be covered, but I had to pay the ER co pay each time of $125. Does that sound right anyonw? I am retiring in 1 month and cannot afford a huge medical bill!
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Post rabies shots
Amount: $6,200.00
Posted by: Poor dad, poor dad in Foster City, CA.Posted: October 8th, 2013 04:10PM
Insurance: Blue CrossMedical Facility: Peninsula Burlingame CA
My daughter was scratched by a raccoon and went to the ER. This was the cost of the rabies shots that night. I was shocked. Blue Cross insurance adjusted it down by $1800. Still was unbelievably high. With other doctor charges, came to over $5000 out of pocket. For a couple of scratches.
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Cost of rabies vaccine
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: magicbird in princeton, NJ.Posted: June 7th, 2013 03:06PM
Insurance: noneMedical Facility: Princeton Medical Center, Princeton NJ
My 23 year old uninsured son was 'exposed' to a bat on a university campus. He was not concerned--after all, I myself had caught (with gloved hands and cloth barrier) over a dozen bats in our home in central NJ over the years and never was harmed. I respect bats--they eat mosquitoes--and there hadn't been a human death from rabid bats in over 50 years in NJ.But my son's fiancee freaked out,so my son called me and asked if I would pay for his ER visit.How could I say no? To my shock, Princeton ER charge my son $9,000 for the rabies series, which I know for a fact only cost $400.00 max! Fortunately, the university agreed to cover it. I understand that the univ. lawyers ultimately refused to pay the outrageous $9,000 charge because it was unreasonable. BUT ORDINARY PEOPLE ARE STUCK WITH THESE BILLS. I WOULD HAVE BEEN STUCK WITH IT!
Read Time Mag's Mar 04 2013 article, "Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us" by Steven Brill. We Americans have been betrayed by cruelly dishonest hospitals that file as 'non-profit' but are making HUGE profits, which they then use to pay hospital presidents huge salaries ($1 -$7 million/year) snd build huge medical complexes which look like Dubai. Yet they are not increasing life expectancies of Americans. This is money stolen from Americans who are ill and helpless in the face of our health institutions' outrageous, dishonest charges to patients and/or their insurance companies (and in the end, we all pay for these overcharges to insurance companies).
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Rabies vaccines-post exposure
Amount: $35,261.00
Posted by: SB in Alabama in Dothan, AL.Posted: February 9th, 2013 09:02PM
Insurance: Blue Cross Blue ShieldMedical Facility: Flowers Hospital
I was bitten by a stray kitten shortly before Christmas. Because we were not able to capture the kitten to quarantine it, I had to get the vaccines. I did not get the immunoglobulin shots as 48 hours had passed before seeking medical attention. I received a series of 4 shots between Dec 21 through Jan 4. Out of pocket expense was a $50 co-pay, but I just found out they billed my insurance over $35,000 for the shots.
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Rabies Vaccine pre-exposure
Amount: $550.00
Posted by: Thane in Foster City, CA.Posted: January 29th, 2013 06:01PM
Insurance: NoneMedical Facility: Local
I work with wildlife overseas but had to pay out of pocket. My Regular Dr wrote a script and I got it fromCVS
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Rabies Vaccine - set of 3 shots
Amount: $800.00
Posted by: EmilytheVet in Tulsa, OK.Posted: November 20th, 2012 05:11PM
Insurance: NoneMedical Facility: Local Health Department
I am going to veterinary school in Saint Kitts this May. I am required to get the Rabies vaccine which is a set of 3 shots to total $800 and change. I do not have health insurance. I will be paying out of pocket for this expense. This is a VERY costly vaccine!!
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rabies vaccine treatment
Amount: $14,624.03
Posted by: a user in Richmond, VA.Posted: July 31st, 2012 10:07AM
Insurance: CignaMedical Facility:
Maxed out my out of pocket expenditure at $2,000, but Hosptial billed insurance company $14,624.03 (yes, that is the correct). This was for the first round of shots. There were three more rounds of shots, but did not pay for those since I had maxed out the out-of-pocket expense with the first round. Had to do same for wife and child, so multiply x 3.
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Rabie Vaccine
Amount: $11,521.36
Posted by: wvman in Morgantown, WV.Posted: April 6th, 2012 08:04PM
Insurance: questionableMedical Facility: WVU
My wife and two sons are going through the vaccine treatment now, it is based on weight for the shots the total above is the cost for all three one visit, and cost will be same each one. When you get shots you get first round, then you go back 3 days later from then, and again 7 days later, then 14 days later, and last 21 days later a total of getting shots five times over a period of time. I will say wife weighs 150 and for fast track care through er one shot trip 6,370.45 so you can see the cost is not cheap. Best wishes if you get it, and also to note they all say it burns from shots and makes area sore for few days.
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rabies vaccine treatment
Amount: $5,510.00
Posted by: JDSG in Springfield, MO.Posted: November 19th, 2011 02:11PM
Insurance: HealthlinkMedical Facility: St Johns Missouri
vaccine cost for teen who was average weight - rec'd a total of 6 shots - insurance said the hospital charged more than 'allowable wholesale cost' of $2667 - hospital charged $5510 (this is JUST for the shots)
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Rabies Vaccine
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Wanda Wilburn in Lawrenceville, GA.Posted: May 3rd, 2011 02:05PM
Insurance: FEP/BcbsMedical Facility:
I have been bitten by a stray cat that cannot be identified/caught and the Gwinnett County GA Health Dept is recommending that I have Rabies shots. I am a federal retiree and have insurance which may help with the cost but would like to know what is the typical cost of vaccine in the Atlanta area? I am 76 but do not have medicare.
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