The rabies vaccine is given to people who have contracted rabies and also those who are at a higher risk of contracting it from the infected animals. Read on to know more on the vaccine for this disease, who should get it, and what side effects it could lead to…
There are many viral diseases that are seen in humans and animals alike. One such disease is rabies. It is a disease that often proves to be serious and at times, even fatal. However, thanks to research and studies in the medical field; one can prevent severe symptoms of rabies after getting bitten by a rabid animal, by the means of vaccination. It is known as a rabies vaccine or a rabies shot.
Who Should Get a Rabies Shot?
This is a vaccine, which instigates the body into producing antibodies against the disease, so that one can gain immunity to symptoms of rabies. The best part of human vaccine is that it can be given as a treatment and also as a precautionary measure. In simple words, this vaccine can be given to people who have been bitten by a rabid animal, or an animal that people suspect is rabid, and it can also be given to people who are at the potential risk of being bitten by a rabid animal, like, people working at dog shelters and veterinary hospitals. Thus, it can be used as a pre and post exposure prophylactic measure. However, not only the veterinarians and other people that work with animals are susceptible to rabies, but also, a normal person who gets bitten by a rabid cat, dog, bat, skunk, raccoon, fox, and cattle is at a higher risk of contracting this disease.
Administration of the Vaccine
When opting for a rabies shot, you need to inform your doctor beforehand, if you have a history of allergic reactions or if you are on any specific medication, so as to avoid the possibility of any kind of drug interaction. Also, it is best to not take this vaccine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as the effects of this vaccine have not been adequately studied in pregnant and breastfeeding women. And if you happen to be ill or have an infectious disease, then it is best to wait till you return to your normal health before taking this vaccine. The vaccine dosage is different for different patients and you need to ask your health care practitioner or read the instructions given on the label to be sure that you take this medicine properly. There will usually be multiple doses of this intra-muscular vaccine and to ensure that you gain maximum immunity from contracting rabies, you will need to keep your appointments religiously. One may also take reinforcing doses, if needed, depending on the risk factors and whether your doctor advises you to take them or not.
You have to be sure of taking this vaccine if you fall in the high risk group or if you fear that you have been exposed to this disease. There are a few side effects of this vaccine, like, development of a skin rash or hives, although these side effects are usually mild. However, if a person develops an anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine, then he must be given medical attention immediately. On the whole, a person must take a rabies shot if he/she feels susceptibility to the disease. This is because, as mentioned earlier, the disease can often prove fatal. Moreover, the onset of symptoms of this disease is very quick in humans and it progresses at a rapid rate. So, to ensure that you have maximum protection from this fatal disease, opt for vaccination before it is too late, despite the fact that this vaccine cost’s more than other vaccines that are commonly administered.