Q. Do I need to have a rabies vaccine towards an unsure scratch ?

Answered by
Dr. Nidhin Mohan
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 10, 2018 and last reviewed on: Nov 24, 2022

Hello doctor,

Two days before a small puppy came and I am not sure whether he scratched me or not. There is no big mark on feet. But I have a very small cut in my hand. I have cleared my jeans with that hand. So I am doubtful my cut has come in contact with that place where puppy licks. Sir do I need to have an anti-rabies vaccine. As I have taken full five doses five months back.



Welcome to

Just take the first dose and second dose after three days. There is no need for five doses. The last dose was taken just a few months back. Anti-rabies antibodies will still persist in the body and provide immunity. But still, reexposure within one year requires two doses.

Thank you doctor,

I consulted a doctor and he told me that no vaccine is needed within one year of having a complete course of five anti-rabies vaccines. So three days have passed and if I will take it tomorrow on the fourth day, is it not too late?



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Probably the exposure from the puppy is considered a very low risk. The doctor who examined you may have found no signs of injury. If so can avoid revaccination. Actually, most studies show a efficacy of five years. The second side revaccination is only for a double safety. If the examining doctor has told not to take, can avoid, do not worry.

Thank you doctor,

If I start taking vaccine tomorrow on the fourth day, is it not too late sir?



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No harm. You can start tomorrow and then take a second dose after three days.

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