Although the vaccine is important to prevent a person from contracting this dangerous disease,there are a few rabies vaccine side effects that can be observed in both animals and humans. To know about these conditions and some preventive methods read on …
Rabies is the disease that causes acute inflammation in the veins of warm blooded animals. Rabies is a disease that is zoonotic, i.e., it is transmitted in human beings, through the infected animals. Rabies is invariably fatal, if its initial symptoms are ignored, prior to the onset of the disease. Rabies is the most common reason of the deaths of the livestock in most of the developing countries.
The only precautionary measure that can be taken here, is the rabies vaccine that is very easily available. These are injected to prevent rabies in both humans and canines. Several side effects are observed that can be categorized into mild and severe. However, before we look into this aspect, let’s see how does the rabies vaccine actually works.
How the Vaccine Works
Rabies vaccine is an inactive rabies virus, which is injected into the body to act as a protective shield against exposure to the bacteria and viruses. Due to these vaccines, the immune system produces antibodies that actually help the body to identify and fight the foreign organisms. This whole process is also known as ‘active immunity’. The vaccine is given to the people that are at highest risk of contraction with the disease.
They are administered in the muscle of the upper arm.
- People who are at the risk of being bitten, and animals that can get infected are administered this vaccine in three segments. Three shots are given on the day of the bite, and the 7th and the 28th day after the bite respectively.
- People who are already immunized by the rabies vaccine and are bitten by suspected animals, need three more doses. First vaccine on the day of the bite, and 3rd and 7th day of the bite.
- People who have never been immunized need to take extra precautions and the first rabies shot must be given to them as soon as the person gets bitten. Afterwards, doses must be given on 3rd, 7th, 14th, 30th, and 90th day of the bite.
The treatment can be stopped, if the animal is found to be out of risk of rabies. People that are administered with the vaccine are the lab technicians, who handle this virus, animal handlers, people working in quarantine sections, field workers, and veterinary doctors. There are several side effects that are observed both in humans and animals.
Rabies vaccine side effects can affect people differently on an individual basis. The side effects that are mentioned here are not obvious ones, but they can be experienced by those administered by the vaccine. Let’s categorize them as common and not-so-common.
Common Side Effects
Here are the common side effects that are experienced by one in ten cases.
- Redness, pain, and itching at the injection site.
- Headache, nausea, diarrhea, and feeling sick.
- Malaise, chills with muscle and joint pain.
Rare Side Effects
Here are the side effects that are observed in 1 of hundred cases.
- Bruises at the injection site.
- Fever and chills.
- Abdominal pain and weakness.
- Dizziness and vomiting.
Along with the above mentioned rabies vaccine side effects, there are several others that are also observed. They are,
- Paraesthesia (sensation of pins and needles in the skin)
- Mild paralysis
- Guillain-Barré Syndrome
These side effects are not observed with respect to the reaction for other medication, but they tend to prove less effective, in case of the patients who are indulging in immune suppressing medications, like high amounts of corticosteroids, chemotherapy, immune suppressants that are taken by organ transplant recipients, etc. So, those of you, who are taking such medications, should consult the respective doctor first, before taking the shots.
Rabies Shots Side Effects in Animals
There are a few side effects observed in pets that are administered with rabies shots. They are:
- Sleepy, dull, and depressed animals, for 24 hours after the shots.
- Increased irritability and grumpiness in animals.
- Formation of hard lump under the skin on the injection site.
- Sneezing, nasal, and/or ocular discharge after a few days of being injected.
- Anaphylactic reactions like vomiting, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, low blood pressure, high pulse rate.
- State of severe shock, pale and white gums, swelling of throat and face, and hives all over the skin.
Generally, these rabies vaccine side effects go away within a few days of the shots. If the above mentioned side effects do not fade away in a certain time limit, it is best in the interest of the animals to visit a veterinary doctor and get an evaluation.
Failure of the rabies vaccine can be a real curse to the subject, when the vaccine itself can turn into the disease. However, these cases are very rare. Incorrect vaccination method can lead to total failure. Hence, its best to be careful while getting injected. Its best to go to a reputed doctor for this purpose.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.