Thursday, July 11, 2013

Getting Anti-Rabies Shots in the Philippines

The funny thing about why I'm writing this post is that my son (2 years old) was not actually bitten by a dog. He was scratched by a stray cat at a park just after I finished telling him and his playmates that if said cat scratches or bites them, they will need shots.

And so, from Tribeca, we headed towards RITM because we couldn't bet on the cat not having rabies, and weren't willing to bring the cat home for observation... lest the cat becomes a pet.

After getting four shots for my son, here are things I now know about getting rabies shots in the Philippines (or in Manila):

1) It is not true that only RITM (Research Institute for Tropical Medicine) and San Lazaro Hospital cater to animal bites and anti-rabies shots. Most big hospitals also do. Even private hospitals also do (at twice or thrice the expense, of course). Here is a link to animal bite centers in the country. You can zoom in to your locality and click the nearest landmarks for contact info. Those in not so urban areas or provinces can also go to the nearest public health clinics to inquire where the nearest animal bite center is.

Why am I mentioning this? Because I thought that (having friends who have told that myth, haha), so we went back to RITM for my son's second and third shot... when we could get the same at PGH!

2) Most government hospitals will only attend to animal bites during weekends and holidays if it's a pediatric case (like in our case, even if it was only a cat scratch) or the bites are in critical locations (like the chest or the face, because these are near vital organs), even if it is a category III bite (except maybe if the animal that bit the person manifested to be rabid, or the injuries are so massive). Most will be asked to return during the animal bite center's operating hours and that varies from center to center. At RITM, it was between 8 AM-4 PM... at PGH, it was between 8 AM-2 PM (with the doctor assessing the bites for first shots going on a break from 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM,  presumably to do rounds and attend to other cases).

3) Therefore, avoid going on Mondays or before/after weekend, holidays if you want everything to be done within 5-10 minutes. Otherwise, it might take you up to two hours to receive your shots.

4) Most bite victims will be required to also get tetanus shots together with the first shot. The first shot (Day 0 shot) is the vaccine, while the 2nd (Day 3) and 3rd (Day 7) shots are booster shots. For those bitten by strays, a 4th shot (Day 28, also a booster shot) is recommended. If you get bitten by another dog again someday, you will only be required to get a booster shot.

5) And yes, you can go a day or two after the days you're supposed to go back (sample... we got our Day 7 shot on day 8, and our Day 28 shot ten days after, haha).

6) I forgot how much we paid for the initial shots at RITM (that included the tetanus shot) but the 2nd and 3rd cost us P560 (P460 for the vaccine, P50 for the needle, and P50 for out-patient fee). The same shot cost me P500 at PGH. The same shot costs a little more than P1,000 at San Lazaro because you are expected to look for someone else to share the vial with (which I didn't want to do, thank God for our pedia who told me of the anti-rabies unit at PGH). If you're getting the shots at private hospitals though, the entire lot can cost up to P15k... if a health card can cover that, fine, but that's still a sort of debit from your account, so to speak, something you might want to seriously consider if you're sickly (because you CAN get the shots at just around P2-3k in all).

7) Apparently, there is more than one vaccine so you might have to go back to Day 0 if the one initially administered goes out of stock, or if you transfer hospitals/centers.

8) If going to PGH, the main hassle is having to go to the ARU (anti-rabies unit) and then going back near the lobby to pay at the cashier, then going back to the ARU. We got lost twice so I can't help with directions, haha.

9) You must not squeeze dog/cat bites/scratches. That's the old school approach but experts now say that if a dog had rabies, it's still possible for the virus not to enter your bloodstream despite the bite. However, squeezing will rupture vessels and will just facilitate the entry of the virus in your system. The best thing to do is just really clean with soap and water, or even an antiseptic if the bite is huge.... then go and get medical attention.

For more infmation, read more about rabies here.

26 comments:

Ms.Jen said...

Hello,

I hope this works right. I want to help people to be safe from rabies. I would like to donate to something that helps people to pay for needed shots, or perhaps help people learn that they need shots. There are big international organizations, but I don't want to donate so a bunch of people can have a big conference. I saw this post on rabies and was hoping that you could direct me to a local agency that helps people more directly. Thank you for any help you can offer. This says I have to sign in on google so that should give you my email, but just in case it is ms.jenamartin at gmail.

Ms.Jen said...

Hello,

I hope this works right. I want to help people to be safe from rabies. I would like to donate to something that helps people to pay for needed shots, or perhaps help people learn that they need shots. There are big international organizations, but I don't want to donate so a bunch of people can have a big conference. I saw this post on rabies and was hoping that you could direct me to a local agency that helps people more directly. Thank you for any help you can offer. This says I have to sign in on google so that should give you my email, but just in case it is ms.jenamartin at gmail.

Bonjai said...

tnx po sa post, very informative, GOD bless your heart!

christie may Zerda said...

Hi mam this is christie. I am a trainee of a certain bank and Im bitten of a stray cat. Where can I fin nearest clinic for vaccination of anti-rabies. Im from Makati.

Foxglove Féroce said...

Hi Christie! I'm also from Makati and I got bitten by our four month old doggy. I think the best, fastest and convenient way for you to do which I did today and for the following dates for my next three shots, is to go to Makati City Hall on the 7th floor. If you have a YellowCard then you can get a free Anti-Tetanus and Anti-Rabies shots. They're using Rabipur of Novartis. But if you don't have the Yellow Card, they will write a referral to a nearby clinic which is on the 2nd floor of UCPB. The anti-rabies shot costs 650 Php. I hope this will help you.

gene said...

this really help me with the information i need! thankks so mmmuuchhh!

Darwin Fesico said...

Aww. Problem incured when cat bites me. It is a bad moment that I do not have money to pay for the vaccine shot. I am worried about my condition, cuz even the transportation going to the nearest public hospital (San Lazaro Hospital) is my problem. What to do? My parent is not with me. And we are having a financial difficulty. :'(

oscarcarbajosa said...

Hi Thank you for the info here.

I was bitten by a dog 2 days ago and i am worried about my health.

The bitten part in my hand i felt numb.

The owner says the dog is safe because the anti rabbies vaccine is updated.

But still I am worried.

What are the signs of thr rabbies virus?

Please help.

Thank you!

xb wave said...

My 18 years old son went to a public hospital for a rabies vaccine because of our pet cats bite. They give him proper procedure like skin test for 30mins and after they injected the rabbies vaccine.But before 24 hrs my son died full of rashes in his face and the whole body.The investigation of the national bureau or NBI of the autopsy is undetermined until now we dont know the cause of death of our son.He is very healthy and no history of illness. He is a very good son to us. Is there anyone who could help us or advice us what to do? Thanks and God bless. Mr.jessie

Papichulo168 said...

Thank you for this very informative article. In our city, Mandaluyong, there are lots of dogs roam the streets without a leash especially at night because their owners let them loose to guard their vehicles parked outside and also to save on the cost of feeding the dog because the dog scrounges around for food.

Barangay officials (Highway Hills) allow these dogs roaming the streets because they serve as "force multipliers" for their tanods.

The City uses their Anti-rabies for dogs program to appear they're doing something about the problem but anti-virus treatment for humans bitten by fogs is not free. But HIV treatment for irresponsible HIV infected persons is free. How ironic!

Mark Albert Martinez said...

Can we go directly at the 2nd floor of ucpb office even without the referral from city hall?

christilyn hizon said...

Hi i just want to ask, i have a 2 month old puppy and he accidentally bit me on my leg he's so playful. My question is i just had a 2 booster shot 2 weeks ago. And this happened again. Should i go again for another booster? Well my puppy only stays at home though his previous owner has a lot dogs but she told that all of her dogs completed anti rabies shot. What do you think should i do? Thank you.

Chicc Bones said...

Hi im bella,can you help me im from marikina city ,i was bitten by our own dog yesterday 24hrs ago,the dog has anti rabbies last august 17 ,and the dog biteme in my smallest finger and after i washed it with running water and squiz my finger to flow the blood and then rubbed with garlic they says it help to kill the bacteria especially for animal bites..i taked my antibiotics until now,but stil im not atease id stil need to consult a doctor for vaccine.i just dont knw where somewhere in marikina.

Unknown said...

I am not so sure about that. But the ucpb office is just across the city hall! You can either go to ucpb first and tell them your case or just do what I did. Though, I remember, I was given an anti tetanus shot for free in the city hall and they gave me a card to record the dates and shots given to me. I had all in all one anti tetanus and four or five anti rabies shots. The referral won't take long anyway since they take this matter seriously! 😊

Fides Gheysary said...

I think you can but the ucpb office is just across the city hall! The referral won't take long anyway since they take this matter seriously.

Fides Gheysary said...

I know how you feel. I think you don't need to take another vaccine shot but to ease your mind, why not go and ask a doctor? It will release you from worrying.

Fides Gheysary said...

Maybe it won't be bad to pay a visit to CVO or City Veterinary Office in Marikina and ask them where a person can have the vaccine...or to your city hall?

karloadorna said...

Hi Guys. I Have Been Bitten By A Dog So I Took Anti Rabies Injection. After 4 Months I Got Bitten By A Cat, Should I Get Another Anti Rabies Booster? How Many Years Does Anti Rabies Booster Last?

Unknown said...

hi, is it a skin test for ERIG? nag neagtive pa xa sa skin test?my daughter is scheduled to take it on feb. 26..

Jean Hunter said...

Im sorry for your loss 😔 Baka po may allergy sya sa ERIG ganyan po nangyayari saken 2 beses nako nakagat ng dog. Nung unang beses po tinakbo ako sa er kase di na ako makahinga because of ERIG nagkarashes me sa buong katawan then after nun internal na nagblock na ung airways ko nahirapan nako huminga. Last week nagkagat ulit me ng dog nagpashot ulit me kasama ERIG nagkarashes po ulit ako and namaga ung face ko. Kaya naginject sila saken ng anti histamine mga 5 po ata un iba iba kase ang bilis nagreact ng katawan ko sa Vaccine.

Christopfhersen Mendoza said...

Hi. I've searched Google and after reading about the doh program of secretary Janet Garin that every animal bite should be treated immediately and for free. ( Well in my case and also with the same story I heard from my friend we shared the same experience) . That is completely rubbish/preposterous lie. The emergency won't allow me to take a free shot or even if I pay for it. The nurses told me to observe the dog first for 15days then come back on Monday for opd ( out patient department) to take the vaccination hence that was Saturday night around 7pm. Cause they told me they will not treat my case that they Will only entertain those bitten from the face including the neck area. And to make matters worse all I know that upon bitten by a dog especially stray dogs thatyou should be vaccinated "WITHIN 24HOURS. So I must be given a shot on Sunday but they said no office on Sunday so I should go back on Monday. "PAGING MADAM SECRETARY OF HEALTH MRS.J GARIN

Rj Marcelo said...

hi ms. jen i am needing a shot for my mother, shes in need right now and i can only give her a tetanus toxoid. i hope we can talk

gio silverio said...

Hi nagpositive me sa erig so pinalitan ng doctor ng hrig..sobrang mahal nya kc 6vials nid ko at 7k so pinacancel ko ung injection..d ko kaya ganon kmhal..sa san lazaro ung suggest nung doctor..pero meron nko shot ng tetanus toxoid at day 0 shot ng verorab..san ba ko pwede pumunta para sa mura hrig shot?..help me please..tnxs

Allond Baul said...

I kicked a cat and my foot go directly to its teeth but it didnt bite me although it leaves a wound what would i do? Please answer.

Oirel Cempron said...

Hello everyone, good day. I am asking for your kind heart to help us financially for the human rabbies immunoglobulin shot for a 2 year girl which is bitten by a pet dog of mine. Her name is Jelanie Jabonillo.... My pet is vaccinized by anti rabbies
but for the safety of the little girl I decided to vaccinized
her. She've been vaccinized by 3 shots for free but the
last 1 w/c is for babies cost 5k as what is said in the
vcmc w/c caters the child. The vaccine is human rabbies immoniglobulin. hope somebody can help us. The vaccine is needed by Aug. 11,2016. For more info contact us at 09163211420. Thank you so much.

Kim Ovejas said...

Hi, I was bitten by our old dog 2 weeks ago. It didn't bleed, hindi rin naman sya malalim. Pero siyempre nag aalala din ako kahit papano. I immediately washed it with soap and water after the bite. The bite mark is already gone after 2 to 3 days. Should i be worried or nah? Thanks.

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