Helicopters To Deliver Rabies Vaccines Over Cape Cod, Southeastern Mass

BARNSTABLE, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — Low-flying helicopters will be dropping rabies vaccines over a wide swath of southeastern Massachusetts, starting Monday.

The vaccines are in the form of oral bait that will attract animals that normally carry rabies, like raccoons, foxes and coyotes.

The idea is to attract wildlife that will eat the rabies-vaccine infused bait, allowing the animals to eat the bait and vaccinate themselves.

The vaccines are distributed by cars driving along the roadside, throwing the packets into the woods, and by helicopter. Wildlife authorities have also set up "bait stations" in the woods, where raccoons and other wildlife can gather to eat it.

Vaccines will be distributed in Plymouth County towns like Plymouth, Wareham and Carver between this Monday and Saturday. Vaccines will start being distributed over the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne, Sandwich, Falmouth, and Barnstable on May 10.

The Cape Cod and Southeast MA Rabies Task Force said to use a glove or towel to pick up the packets, if you happen to find one, move it into the woods where children and pets can't find it, and wash your hands.

There were more than 6,700 cases of rabies in Massachusetts between 1992 and 2019.

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Written by Chaiel Schaffel

(Photo: Getty Images)

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