Vaccnine Bank for Rabies

The World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) has established the Regional Vaccine Bank for Rabies in Asia with funding from the European Union under the Regional Cooperation Programme on Highly Pathogenic and Emerging and re-emerging Diseases in Asia (HPED). HPED is a four-year programme in cooperation with the OIE, FAO and WHO that seeks to strengthen the institutional capacities of regional organisations and countries to control HPED, and improve epidemic and pandemic preparedness in the region.

The Rabies Vaccine Bank

The vaccine bank is a virtual rolling stock of vaccines produced when needed and delivered by the vaccine supplier (selected through an international call for tender) to beneficiary countries upon official request from their Veterinary Services to protect dog populations at risk under agreed national vaccination strategies. Priority is given to providing emergency vaccines to developing countries with the lowest GDP within the region that have no immediate access to high quality vaccines.

The vaccine bank aims to support targeted emergency vaccination when justified at the regional level to save public health funds and reduce in the long term the socioeconomic cost of post-exposure treatments of humans, or when outbreaks might compromise the sanitary status of a neighbouring country or zone.

Request for Vaccines

Countries have to provide justification on the need for rabies vaccines, as well as information on the logistics, financial and administrative framework of the vaccination campaign. A “Specific Request for Rabies Vaccine Delivery” must be submitted to the OIE Director-General, through the OIE Sub-Regional Office in Bangkok, supported by AusAID. The request should include a commitment that veterinary services of the country will facilitate the importation of the vaccines (customs clearance).

Delivery options

The rabies vaccine bank may provide access to the following products:

  • 10 ml vials (10 doses in a vial) of injectable rabies vaccines for dogs (and cats);1 ml vials (1 dose in a vial) of injectable rabies vaccines for dogs and cats(vaccines in 1 ml vials available on a limited basis);
  • Oral vaccines for dogs (for pilot research studies in a limited number of volunteer countries).

The different timeframes envisaged for delivery are as follows:

  • Urgent delivery within 10 days;
  • Planned delivery (more than 1 month).

Countries receiving the vaccines bear the responsibility of guaranteeing cold chain activities, and that distribution channels work effectively.

First beneficiaries

Lao PDR and Vietnam were the first recipients of the rabies vaccine bank in South-East Asia, with respectively 50,000 and 200,000 doses delivered in 2012.In February 2013, the Philippines will receive 500,000 doses of rabies vaccines to be used during their National Rabies Awareness Month in March. More deliveries of rabies vaccines for the vaccination of dog populations in South Asia and in South East Asia will occur in 2013.