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Why Rabies Vaccines Now Require a Prescription

The Recent Shift: Why Rabies Vaccines Now Require a Prescription


The regulation of rabies vaccines for pets has been debated for quite some time. Many states, by law, require that a rabies vaccine only be purchased and administered by a licensed veterinarian. Other states have indicated that the purchase of the rabies shots over the counter is allowed as long as it was still administered by or under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian.

Jeffers has made the recent decision that rabies vaccines are now exclusively sold with a valid prescription. This change in policy was seen as necessary to not only comply with existing law and veterinary guidance, but to also ensure the safety of dogs and cats as well.

You still may be wondering: “Do you need a prescription for a rabies vaccine?” In this blog post, we’ll delve into the reasons behind this shift, shed light on the importance of responsible vaccination practices, and explore the legal aspects surrounding rabies vaccines for dogs and cats.

The CDC’s Stance on Rabies Vaccines:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) play a crucial role in guiding public health practices, including those related to pets. According to the CDC’s guidance on Rabies Vaccines, parenteral animal rabies vaccines should only be administered by or under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. This requirement ensures that those responsible for administering the vaccine are appropriately trained in vaccine storage, handling, administration, and adverse event management.

The CDC emphasizes the accountability of veterinarians, stating that any veterinarian signing a rabies certificate must ensure that the person administering the vaccine is identified on the certificate. This precautionary measure ensures that a qualified and responsible individual is held accountable for properly vaccinating the animal. This regulation aims to guarantee the safety and effectiveness of rabies vaccinations.

Rabies Vaccines and Legal Requirements:

Rabies is a deadly disease that poses a threat not only to pets but also to humans. Recognizing the gravity of the situation, several states mandate the administration of rabies vaccines for dogs and cats. Jeffers, in our article on the importance of vaccinating dogs, stress the legal obligation to vaccinate pets against rabies.

To further understand dog and cat vaccinations, several states explicitly prohibit the administration of rabies vaccines apart from a licensed veterinarian. This underscores the significance of seeking professional veterinary care when it comes to rabies shots for dogs.

Why the Shift to Prescription-Only:

The decision to sell rabies vaccines exclusively with a prescription aligns with Jeffers’ broader goal of promoting responsible pet care. By ensuring that vaccines are administered under the supervision of a veterinarian, we can work together to enhance the safety and efficacy of rabies vaccinations. This shift also emphasizes the need for trained professionals to oversee the vaccination process, minimizing the risk of errors and adverse events.


The recent change requiring a prescription for rabies vaccines underscores Jeffers’ commitment to responsible pet care. The CDC’s guidelines emphasize the importance of qualified individuals overseeing the vaccination process, ensuring its safety and efficacy. Pet owners should be aware of the legal requirements surrounding rabies vaccinations and understand that seeking professional veterinary care is essential.

By staying informed and compliant, we can collectively contribute to the well-being of our beloved pets and the community at large. For further insights into dog vaccinations and the legal landscape, the Jeffers Blog offers additional valuable resources for responsible pet ownership.