How Much Does a Rabies Shot Cost for Humans?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 13, 2018

A rabies shot for a human being is generally offered to those who are planning on traveling outside of the United States.  Many doctors, as well as health experts, will recommend you get this shot as a precaution to many of the foreign diseases in countries such as Asia.  Also, it may be required that veterinarians, animal handlers and lab workers may also be required to receive this vaccination.  At this time, however, this vaccine isn’t required to enter any country, but most experts will note you should highly consider it if you’re going to a country susceptible to this disease.

The needle by Dr PS Sahana * Kadamtala Howrah, on Flickr
The needle” (CC BY 2.0) by Dr PS Sahana * Kadamtala Howrah

How much does the rabies vaccine cost?

For those who don’t have health insurance, the rabies shot cost will vary anywhere from $400 to as much as $1,400 per shot.  The geographical location and the clinic will affect the final price.  With the rabies shots, you will need five shots over a certain time period, so when everything is said and done, expect the bill to be more than $5,000 to $8,000.

For those who do have health insurance, talk with your insurance provider as you will find that many of them may not cover this shot since it is deemed an optional medical procedure.  If the insurance company will cover the shot, refer to your co-pays and insurance policy to see what you’re responsible for.  With insurance, the average is anywhere from $0 to $50.

Someone who was exposed to rabies and hasn’t been vaccinated, they should get four dosages — one right away, followed by dosages on the third, seventh and fourteenth day.  Another shot, known as Rabies Immune Globulin, should be administered on the first visit as well.

According to the CDC, the cost of rabies shots can well exceed the $1,000 mark.  One of the main reasons is because you have to receive five doses over a four-week period.

A forum member on StraightDope.com claimed they had received a bill for more than $5,000.

Rabies vaccine overview

Typically, the shot will be administered by a nurse.  Before the vaccine is administered, however, they will discuss the reasons you want to receive this vaccine.

The rabies shot is usually administered in three different shots:  the first dose during your initial appointment, followed by a second dosage seven days later.  Lastly, a third dosage will be administered 28 days after the first.  The protection can last up to more than two years, and it will start within 10 days.

A consultation may also be included and a pamphlet to help you better understand the shot.

What are the extra costs?

If you’re going to receive this at your local doctor’s office, an office visit fee may be applied to the bill.  This can range from $5 to $100, depending on your insurance covered.

Some clinics may also charge a shot administration fee.  This can vary anywhere from $10 to $40.

If the shots don’t work in the long, extensive testing and other vaccines may be required.  While this is rare, the cost of these visits can vary in pricing.

Emergency room visits will cost up to 60 percent more than a visit at a typical doctor’s office.

Tips to know:

Symptoms from exposure to an animal with rabies usually include symptoms such as a fever, headache, tiredness or a sore throat.  Whenever there is contact with any type of animal, it’s essential that a professional is notified.

Always be sure to avoid contact with any sort of stray animal, no matter how friendly they may be.  Never touch an animal that looks wounded or dead.  It’s best to contact the local animal control department.

If a wild animal has been hanging around your property or has gained access to an attic or basement, it’s best to talk with a local pest service to properly remove them.

Anyone with a compromised immune system or an allergic reaction should talk with a health professional before receiving this vaccine.

Rabies is found on nearly ever continent with the exception of Antarctica.  Canine rabies is highly endemic in many rural areas of Philippines, Pakistan, China, India, Haiti, Thailand, Brazil and many other countries.

Those who plan on receiving the rabies vaccine should keep in mind that in order for this vaccine to be effective, you will need all subsequent boosters.  Always plan to receive these vaccines at least 28 days prior to traveling.  Since it’s only good for two years, you will want to keep this in mind when traveling in the future.

How can I save money?

Refer to your local insurance company to see if they can cover something this shot.

Also, consider getting this shot done at a local health clinic.  If your state’s department clinic offers something such as this, you may want to consult with them.  Refer to the CDC to find a location that can help you.  Many state programs allow you to receive this vaccine at a lower price.

If you don’t have any sort of health insurance, you may want to consider finding a policy through companies such as eHealthInsurance.com.

If this vaccine was due to an animal in the neighborhood, consult with a lawyer to see if they can cover the medical bills for you.  If it’s due to their negligence, you could receive funds via a lawsuit.

Students who are currently going to go to college may want to consult with their local college health center.  You may find that you will be able to have the vaccine at a discounted rate.

HumanRabiesVaccine.com says you should consider a clinic which administers the vaccine and prescriptions.


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Average Reported Cost: $6526.38

100 %
0 %
Less Expensive $1 $1.5K $3K $5K $6.5K More Expensive $8k

How much did you spend?

Was it worth it?  

  1. Jill (Bettendorf,  Iowa) paid $14,500 and said:

    My insurance company was billed $14,500.00 for my series of vaccines. Saw one ER Doctor for 5 minutes. Furious!

    Was it worth it? Yes

  2. N (Atlanta,  Georgia) paid $0 and said:

    I’ve heard a lot of horror stories about this shot. Thankfully my insurance picked up the tab and I paid nothing. I had Aetna insurance.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  3. Carlos (San Diego,  California) paid $14500 and said:

    Valley Baptist Hospital $14,500

    Thailand $8

    Was it worth it? Yes

  4. Christina Erickson (Tampa Bay,  Florida) paid $8975 and said:

    My doctor sent me to Emergency and charged $8,975 just for the Immunoglobulin shot and the first dose. Don’t let cost deter you: your life depends on it.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  5. Peter (Mt Laurel,  Colorado) paid $5000 and said:

    I was charged 5000 dollars for initial shots then 300 dollars each for 4 follow ups.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  6. Suzan Farrell (New Hampton,  Iowa) paid $11250 and said:

    Provider: Mercy Medical Center North Iowa Hospital
    We have Tricare (32 years honorable Military Service) and they decide not to cover this medical procedure. We are on the second appeal so we will see what happens.

    Was it worth it? Yes

  7. W ill (ft. atkinson Wi,  Wisconsin) paid $12472 and said:

    Paid for by Medicare and my other Insurance. none profit ? seems they take
    advantage of Medicare to the max. seems something is a little off.
    Could have paid for a funeral for that price. Incident Jan 2017
    name with held . Better find a less expensive place .

    Was it worth it? Yes

  8. John (Tecumseh ,  Michigan) paid $ and said:

    Was it worth it? Yes

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