The New Indian Express reports that the Delhi government is reporting an “acute shortage” of rabies vaccines in  government run hospitals.

The shortage is due to a drop in vaccine supplies, prompting hospital and health officials to call a meeting.

“The shortage of rabies vaccines at city government-run hospitals has led to patients thronging anti-rabies clinics at Centre-run Safdarjung Hospital and RML Hospital,” a senior health ministry official.

There are 59,000 human rabies fatalities each year around the globe with India accounting for some 20,000 deaths annually.

The demand for rabies vaccine is up as the number of street dogs have increased.

The Delhi government has been asked to procure rabies vaccines from the Hyderabad-based facility, India Immunologicals Limited at a rate decided by the Centre, which is Rs 180 per vial. They have some of their tenders under finalization, which would hopefully ease out the situation. The Delhi government has a requirement of 30,000 vials of ARVs per month, which amounts to nearly one lakh vials in one quarter,” the official said.

Rabies is an acute viral infection that is transmitted to humans or other mammals usually through the saliva from a bite of an infected animal. It is also rarely contracted through breaks in the skin or contact with mucous membranes.