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What You Need To Know Before Taking Rabies Vaccine (Side Effect)

Anwesha and Abhirup like to play with street dogs and cats. Abhirup tells Anwesha that travelling to certain places and getting involved with animals might increase their risk of getting side effects of rabies in humans because it is difficult to know which animal is infected.

However, Human rabies cases are uncommon in most countries, including the United States, with just 1 to 3 cases documented each year. In the last decade, twenty-five instances of human rabies have been documented in the United States. Nevertheless, Anwesha and Abhirup decide to get vaccinated against the virus. 

What is rabies vaccination, and how does it work?

Rabies is a dangerous virus-borne illness. Rabies is mostly a disease that affects animals, but it has side effects of rabies in humans if an infected animal bites them.

 There may be no symptoms at first, but there can be short-term and long-term side effects of rabies vaccine in humans like discomfort, headaches, weariness, irritability, fever, hallucinations, seizures, and paralysis weeks or even months later. Rabies is a disease that can be lethal.

Who is more likely to get infected by the virus?

Suppose one works as a veterinarian, animal handler, or rabies laboratory worker or comes into contact with animals that may have the virus. In that case, they are more likely to contract side-effects of rabies in humans through animals like cats, dogs, foxes, skunks, raccoons, bobcats, coyotes, and bats. Travelling to certain countries might potentially put one at risk for contracting side-effects of rabies.

What is the use of the vaccine?

Rabies human diploid cell vaccination protects persons who have been bitten by animals (post-exposure) or who may be exposed to the rabies virus in any other way (pre-exposure).

This vaccination works by exposing one to a little dosage of the virus, which allows the body to acquire disease immunity against the long term side effects of the rabies vaccine in humans. The rabies vaccination is suitable for both adults and children. Like any other vaccine, the rabies vaccination may not give complete protection against illness in every person.

Who should not get the vaccine?

If one experiences a life-threatening adverse response to the initial dose, they should not get a booster shot.

Things to keep in mind before taking the vaccine

If one has any of the following conditions, they are advised to consult their doctor before getting this vaccine:

  • A weakened immune system due to illness or the use of certain medications.
  • Any infection or serious sickness of any kind.
  • An allergy to the antibiotic neomycin.


How is the rabies vaccination administered?


This vaccination is administered as a muscle injection (shot). This injection will be given in a doctor’s office or a clinic.

A total of three doses are required for pre-exposure rabies prophylaxis. The second dose is normally given seven days after the first, with the third shot following two or three weeks later.

If the risk of rabies exposure for a particular person remains high, they may need to have the preventative vaccination series every two years. If one works in a laboratory or a vaccine manufacturing environment where live rabies virus is present, they might require a booster vaccine half-yearly.


After being bitten or exposed to rabies, one will need to receive a total of four doses for post-exposure prophylaxis. The first injection is administered as quickly as feasible, followed by Days 3, 7, and 14. A secondary injection of rabies immune globulin may be given together with the initial vaccination (im-YOON GLOB-yoo-lin). 

This shot is placed into or near the bite wound or injury where the rabies virus is most likely to have entered the body. Persons who have already had a rabies vaccine will only need two rabies vaccine shots spaced three days apart for post-exposure protection. The immune globulin injection is not required.

Side effects of rabies in humans

One must get emergency medical help if one has signs of an allergic reaction and side-effects of rabies vaccine: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Infecting oneself with rabies is far more damaging to health than getting vaccinated. Like any other treatment, this vaccination can produce long-term side effects of the rabies vaccine in humans, although the chances of significant side effects are extremely low.

Severe side-effects of the rabies vaccine

  • A fever that is high
  • Fever, vomiting, rash on the skin, joint discomfort, and overall malaise
  • A sense of weakness or strange sensations in your arms and legs
  • Difficulties with balance or eye movement, as well as difficulty speaking or eating


Common side-effects of the rabies vaccine

  • Pain, swelling, itching, or redness in the area where the vaccine is injected
  • Headache
  • Soreness in the muscles
  • Dizziness
  • Stomach pains and nausea


What additional medications will affect the rabies vaccine?

One needs to tell the doctor about any other immunizations they have recently gotten before getting this one, and inform the doctor if one has recently gotten any medications such as:

  • A steroid that can be taken orally, nasally, inhaled, or injected;
  • Malaria treatment or prevention medication;
  • Cancer therapies such as chemotherapy or radiation;
  • Psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, or other autoimmune illnesses medicines; or
  • Medications to treat or prevent organ rejection after transplantation.



For this immunization to be successful, it must be given at the right time. These principles may not apply to your specific booster regimen. Follow your doctor’s instructions or the timetable advised by your state’s health agency.

If one doesn’t get all of the recommended doses of this vaccine, one could not be fully protected from illness.

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