RABORAL V-RG® is an oral rabies vaccine designed specifically for wildlife, produced by Merial Limited in both the United States and in Europe. It is a Vaccinia–vectored modified live vaccine that is administered orally. It is exclusively licensed for use only in government sponsored wildlife rabies control programs and is not available to individuals or public entities that are not associated with state-sanctioned rabies control programs. In each state, the State Veterinarian is responsible for granting permission for RABORAL V-RG® vaccine use on a yearly basis. Each state’s wildlife rabies control program includes the following: pre-program community education efforts, establishment of a bait contact reporting system, the actual bait unit dispersal activities, and post-vaccination surveillance efforts in the treated area. To learn if there is a program in your state please see the Around the Country page on this site.
RABORAL V-RG®: Wildlife Oral Rabies Vaccine
WHAT IS IT?
RABORAL V-RG® is a recombinant vaccine that has been approved for the oral immunization of raccoons and coyotes against rabies. The liquid vaccine is contained within a plastic packet. The packets, also called sachets, are encased inside solid fishmeal baits or the sachets are simply covered in a fishmeal-based coating. These bait units, each containing a single dose of RABORAL V-RG, are distributed into wildlife habitat where they are sought out and eaten by raccoons and coyotes. The vaccine containers are labeled with a toll-free number printed on their surface. If bait units are found in a residential area or if you or your pet contact a bait unit, please call this toll-free number (1-877-RABORAL) to be routed to your local rabies control program office.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
RABORAL V-RG® immunizes the raccoon or coyote as the sachet is consumed. The modified-live virus infects the oral tissues and produces an immune response against rabies. The vaccine is produced using a Vaccinia virus that has been attenuated and contains only a small portion of the genetic material of the rabies pathogen, not the complete rabies virus. Therefore, the vaccine will not cause rabies. After eating the vaccine it takes 10-14 days for a raccoon or coyote to become protected against rabies.
HOW IS IT USED?
Each year in the United States approximately 12 million doses of RABORAL V-RG® are distributed into wildlife habitats. Vaccine-filled baits or sachets are distributed by airplane, helicopter or by hand to reach the target species. The location and number of baits used each year depends on the severity of the outbreak and the specific goals of regional rabies control efforts. Radio messages, TV announcements and posters are used in communities to alert citizens of upcoming baiting programs.