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Rabies Vaccine Research Project BORS

January 17th, 2020



We are now only 8 days to go until enrollments close and are still looking to find 14 persons over the age of 50 years.

This course of rabies vaccine will save you over $500, likely is valid for at least 10 years if not life, and is really useful if you will be later travelling to Asia, Africa or South America. Some countries up to 1% of travellers get a rabies risk exposure, so its worth being protected


We are recruiting for our BORS rabies vaccine study. First visits must be completed by Fri 2nd October 2020.

If you have never had rabies vaccine and would like a course of 3 rabies vaccines for free ( for when travel returns, or if you are a wildlife carer), please read on.

This project is to investigate and document how well ONE dose of rabies vaccine primes the immune system to produce antibodies that protect against rabies. This project has Ethics Approval from the Australian National University (Protocol 2019/451)

Currently, 2 or 3 vaccines are considered necessary to prime the immune system against the rabies virus. If the immune system is already primed and then an individual has a rabies risk animal exposure,  they only need two doses of rabies vaccine (Day 0 and Day 3). If the immune system is NOT primed, then the person needs at least 4 vaccines ( Day 0, 3, 7, 14) plus a blood product known as RIG, which has to be injected into the wound. ( Yes this is as bad as it sounds. )

We want to answer the question –  especially for persons travelling or exposed at very short notice, – is it enough to have just one dose of rabies vaccine to prime the immune system.

We have secured some funding for this project, so we can offer participants 3 doses of intramuscular rabies vaccine for free. At the end of the project, each BORS participant will have recognized pre-exposure rabies priming of the immune system with blood test confirmation. It will, however, take a bit longer than average and involve blood tests.

Participants must be

  • over 18 years age, but 50% of our enrollments need to be over 50 years age
  • not immunosuppressed,
  • not pregnant,
  • have never had a rabies vaccine,
  • not going to a rabies risk area or handling flying foxes for 90 days,
  • available to participate in all the visits.

The study involves :

  • 4 visits to the city (5th floor 247 Adelaide Street, Brisbane)
  • 3 intramuscular rabies vaccines,
  • 3 blood tests, and
  • 1 phone call.

Visits are Day 0, day 60, day 63, day 67. The phone call is day 74. Blood results will be available on Day 74 phone call.

We expect participants will be flying fox carers and their families, vets, vet nurses, and travellers who will not be leaving for at least 90 days.

The participant information sheets are here:  BORS PIS

If you would like more information, please email  < clinic AT thetraveldoctor.com.au > or phone 07 3221 9066 and ask to speak to the research assistant, Christine.

For your information, our clinic is part of the TMA Research Team. If you would like to see all the research that our team has successfully published in the medical literature, please go here.

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