Home > Health Library > Vaccination Series to Prevent Rabies After Exposure
Rabies vaccination is a series of shots given over a
period of 2 weeks after a possible exposure to rabies. Rabies vaccines contain
inactivated virus particles that increase the body's immune response, which in
turn helps destroy the rabies virus.
Three rabies vaccines have been approved for use in the United
States; all are considered equally effective and equally safe. The vaccines
A rabies vaccine (HDCV, RVA, or PCEC) is given:
Local reactions, such as pain, itching, and swelling at the site of
the shot, have been reported after vaccination with each of the three vaccines
available in the U.S. Systemic reactions, such as headache, nausea, abdominal
pain, and muscle aches, are less common.
Newer rabies vaccines used today are not as painful and do not require as many shots as the older vaccines.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerW. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
Current as ofMay 22, 2015
Current as of:
May 22, 2015
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & W. David Colby IV, MSc, MD, FRCPC - Infectious Disease
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