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Idaho Nonprofit Clinic May Offer Cheaper Rabies Vaccines

flickr.com, Zaldylmg

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) — A nonprofit community health center in northern Idaho is considering offering the rabies vaccine to make it more affordable. The Dirne Community Clinic in Coeur d’Alene charges patients on a sliding scale based on their ability to pay.

Nicholle Joyce tells The Spokesman-Review she received a bill for $5,000 after going to the emergency room to get the lifesaving vaccine after being exposed to a rabid bat. Tom Shanahan of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says the vaccine is rarely needed.

That means few doctor’s offices stock it, boosting the cost. Dirne CEO Mike Baker says the clinic has the ability to get the vaccine at a significantly discounted rate. Three bats in northern Idaho have tested positive for rabies so far this year.

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