I'm travelling to Georgia (Asia) with my family. Should I get a rabies vaccination?

They are recommended on the US Department of State site but they are very expensive ($1,000 per person!) so I was wondering if I could avoid it.

I'm planning to go on a mountain biking holiday there.

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    As a note, I've travelled to Georgia more than a dozen of times in the last 3-4 years and not once even thought about rabbies being a problem. And I've spent time in both larger cities and remote mountain villages. – Aleks G Mar 6 '15 at 23:05
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    Oh, and Georgia is not in Asia. Geographically it's Europe. – Aleks G Mar 6 '15 at 23:05
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    @AleksG Whether Georgia is in Europe or Asia is debateable. – Andrew Welch Mar 7 '15 at 0:52
  • Well, I suppose it depends on definition. [This BBC article]bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-23072361) mentions that there are two differing definition of Europe/Asia boundary, one of which puts Georgia in Europe and the other in Asia. Yet, even in the Asian version, It's actually split between the two. Hence "firmly in Asia" is an incorrect statement. – Aleks G Mar 7 '15 at 8:51
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    Well not really but this is a pointless conversation, because Europe and Asia are both abstract anyway. Most old school definitions don't include Georgia in Europe. In the last decade Georgia has be Euro and US leaning hence the tensions with Russia, but thats another story. I never said 'firmly in Asia' I put Asia in bracket. – Andrew Welch Mar 7 '15 at 12:21

OP's profile has "I work as a developer at Viacom in London." so UK price may be more relevant than USD:

If you need to pay for the vaccination privately, you can either visit your GP surgery or a travel clinic. The price for the complete course of three doses ranges from £120 to £170.

Same source NHS:

The vaccine is usually only recommended if the potential risk of exposure to rabies is thought to be high and there is limited access.

MASTA has:

TSE44251 example

for a trip in May 2015.

"Holiday" sounds like short duration and "mountain biking" (with family) not particularly remote.

So Yes avoidable.

You would never forgive yourself if your child did contract rabies there and you had opted out of the vaccination but then I doubt parents who buy their children cars only to find them wrapped round a lamppost the next day ever forgive themselves either - but parents still buy their children cars.

Fit for Travel

Rabies: spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, but also bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.


It is unclear what citizenship you carry but your profile states you work in London so I would follow the UK foreign travel advice and visit your GP 2 months before you travel. They will be able to say if you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures and give general advice for your travels.

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