WHO guidelines for the prevention and control of rabies: the latest update selection (5)

Foreword:This July29Day, < /strong>WHOofficial website published a manual in English titled “Guide to introducing human rabies vaccine into national immunization programmes( /strong>Incorporating Human Rabies Vaccine into National Immunization Program Guidelines)” (see References), which comprehensively introduces WHO’s use of rabies vaccine and related issues in its main text and appendix authoritative answer. This blog will gradually introduce some of them for readers.

Existing WHO prequalified vaccinerabies vaccine products

Modern rabies vaccines are highly immunogenic and, when used properly, are effective in preventing rabies.

WHO only recommends the use of concentrated, purified cell culture and embryonic oocyte-based rabies vaccines (CCEEVs). The price is at least 2.5 IU.

WHO further recommends that the manufacture and use of nerve tissue rabies vaccines should be discontinued and replaced by CCEEVs because of the high rate of serious adverse events and their association with nerve tissue rabies vaccines The relevant effects are inconsistent.

The rabies vaccine is intended for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for rabies. Rabies vaccines are currently only available in single-dose vials, all without preservatives.

All four rabies vaccines currently prequalified by WHO are freeze-dried vaccines (see table below).

Table: Summary of Rabies Vaccine Characteristics

Original English form of this form:

Table. Summary of rabies vaccine characteristics

Appendix: WHO Note on Prequalification of Vaccines (https:https://extranet. who.int/pqweb/vaccines):

WHO vaccine prequalification is a service provided to UNICEF and other United Nations agencies that procure vaccines.

The goal of WHO vaccine prequalification is to ensure that vaccines used in immunization programmes are safe and effective. Prequalification also supports the special needs of national immunization programmes with regard to vaccine characteristics such as potency, thermostability, appearance, labelling and shipping conditions. As a result, more people can receive safe, effective and high-quality vaccines because immunization programme managers can plan, select and procure appropriate products.

In vaccine prequalification, WHO applies international standards to comprehensively assess and determine whether a vaccine is safe and effective. WHO also ensures the continued safety and efficacy of prequalified vaccines through regular reassessments, on-site inspections, targeted testing and investigation of any product complaints or adverse events following immunization.

National regulatory agencies and national control laboratories play a vital role in WHO vaccine prequalification, as they are responsible for the regulatory oversight, testing and distribution of WHO prequalified vaccines.

WHO vaccine prequalification helps innovate when there is a pressing public health unmet need for new products. This is achieved by supporting vaccine innovation and partnering with other organisations and networks to provide technical support to vaccine manufacturers. Demand forecasting is also supported: WHO vaccine prequalification, in partnership with UNICEF and Vaccine Alliance, has contributed significantly to the establishment and maintenance of a healthy vaccine market.


World Health Organization. (‎2022)‎. Guide to introducing human rabies vaccine into national immunization programs. World Health Organization. 29 July 2022, https:https://apps.who.int /iris/handle/10665/360978. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.

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