Rabies is a zoonotic disease that is almost invariably fatal once clinical signs appear. Humans are
well-protected against clinical rabies by vaccination. Students in a college of veterinary medicine are in a
high-risk category for rabies exposure.
It is the policy of the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine to provide the best
protection for its students against serious health hazards; therefore, rabies vaccination is required.
- Students are not required to receive the vaccination series prior to beginning the professional program, but they
must receive the vaccination before the beginning of semester two.
- The current recommended immunization protocol consists of an initial series of three intramuscular injections
at 0, 7, and 28 days, of the human diploid cell vaccine (HDCV), however, a student's physician may have another
recommendation which will be acceptable as there are other rabies vaccinations available. Students should
contact their local department of health or family physician for information regarding availability. The college
will arrange for vaccination to take place on campus for students who are unable to obtain the vaccine in their local area.
However, the student will be responsible for covering the cost of this program.
- The Schiffert Student Health Center is unable to administer rabies vaccinations until the fall semester begins.
- Two years after the initial immunization series, each student will have a blood sample drawn for the
determination of their rabies antibody titer. Those who have insufficient levels of antibody for protection will
need to receive a booster inoculation.