Rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin shortages
July 29, 2019
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To community health care providers:
Re: Rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin shortages
This Advisory Alert is to provide an update regarding the provincial supply of publicly funded rabies vaccine and rabies immunoglobulin for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) in the management of potential human exposures to the rabies virus.
Due to higher demand over the past month, the provincial supplies of vaccine and immunoglobulin at the Ontario Government Pharmaceutical and Medical Supply Service (OGPMSS) may stock-out before they can be replenished by the manufacturers. At this time, it is anticipated that the current provincial supply will not be replenished before November 2019.
To help manage the current supply, the ministry has implemented an allocation plan for both rabies vaccine and rabies immunoglobulin for all public health units (PHUs). The allocation plan was informed by recent orders placed by health units, as well as current stock on hand at OGPMSS.
The ministry will be monitoring inventory of rabies vaccine and rabies immunoglobulin across the province to assist in reviewing and providing pre-approval for every order submitted, based on the number of potential rabies exposures being investigated in our jurisdiction, as well as the number of individuals receiving PEP. They may also contact PHUs to re-distribute available products around the province to meet demand, if required.
Please note the following in these current circumstances:
- Be judicious in ordering rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin, and,
- Ensure that you continue with thorough risk assessments for all reported exposures, as well as for all requests for rabies biologicals.
Should you have any questions, please contact our Manager, CID, Infection Control, Rabies and Vectorborne Diseases at 705.522.9200, ext. 246.
Ariella Zbar, MD, CCFP, MPH, MBA, FRCPC
Associate Medical Officer of Health
This item was last modified on July 29, 2019