Rabies Vaccination: Dose 1

I love bats. LOVE. Lovelovelove. They’re awesome. Adorable. Useful (some bats in my area eat up to a thousand mosquitoes in a single hour when feeding!). So I decided I wanted to do bat rehabilitation someday — that’s where people bring you injured bats and you nurse ’em back to health and set ’em free again.
Well. A few weeks ago, I went to a bat day at the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum and met a couple bat rehabbers, and they told me they really need someone in the Santa Clara area who can do rehabbing, and that it’s easy to learn — I don’t even need to take formal classes or anything!
But I have to have a rabies preventative vaccine to handle the bats.

Getting the vaccine has been a huge production. It cannot be ordered by doctors, only by county health departments. My insurance will happily cover it 100% (important, because it is a three-shot series and each shot costs $270!)… but only in-network. Out of network, it’s only 70% covered. And of course the county health department is not in-network. So I will have to appeal to get the remaining 30% covered.
I found the county health department for Santa Clara County and went down there this morning to get my shot. There is apparently a shortage of the vaccine, but since I’m going to be working with wild animals (as opposed to getting it cos I’m a paranoid camper or something), they said I could get it. Woo.
I have to get another shot next Wednesday and a third shot two weeks after that. And THEN I can actually start learning how to take care of lil’ bats! Yay!

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