GEORGE TOWN: Anti-rabies vaccination for humans is available at private hospitals but each jab cost RM500 or more.
Penang Health Committee chairman Dr Afif Bahardin said each person needs three jabs and the vaccination is not available at government hospitals.
“As a precautionary measure, I have suggested to animal shelter workers and non-governmental organisations (NGO) dealing with animals to get the vaccination in a meeting last week.”
Dr Afif said the workers faced a high risk as they will be handling the dogs, particularly strays, which are brought to the homes and could be rabies infected.
Meanwhile, state Veterinary Services Department director Dr Siti Salmiyah Tahir said anti-rabies vaccines would be available in batches every week.
“We would be able to meet the demand as we are getting the vaccines every week.”
Dr Siti said since the rabies outbreak, there has been a drastic increase in the number of people coming to get anti-rabies vaccination for their dogs.
“We gave vaccination to 165 dogs in a single day, which is extremely high compared to none at all during normal times,” she said.
Meanwhile, Penang Barisan Nasional chairman Teng Chang Yeow said the state government shouldn’t have made a unilateral decision to cull the animals to contain the outbreak.