Bulas and Medicines 2022

Human antirrrábica vaccine: when to take it, doses and side effects

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Human antirrrábica vaccine: when to take it, doses and side effects
Human antirrrábica vaccine: when to take it, doses and side effects

The human rabies vaccine is indicated for the prevention of rabies in children and adults, and can be administered before and after exposure to the virus, which is transmitted through the bite of a dog or other animals infected by the rabies virus.

Anger is a disease that affects the central nervous system, leading to inflammation of the brain and usually leads to death if the disease is not properly treated. This disease can be cured if the person seeks medical help as soon as they are bitten, in order to clean and disinfect the wound, receive the vaccine, and if necessary, also take immunoglobulins.

What is it for

The rabies vaccine is indicated to prevent rabies in humans before or after exposure to the virus. Rabies is a disease of animals that can affect humans, and it causes inflammation of the brain, which usually leads to death. Learn how to identify human rabies.

The vaccine works by stimulating the body to produce its own protection against the disease, and can be used to prevent rabies before exposure, indicated for people exposed to a frequent risk of contamination, such as veterinarians or people who work in laboratory with the virus, for example, as well as prevention after suspected or confirmed exposure to the virus, transmitted by bites or scratches from infected animals.

When to get the vaccine

The rabies vaccine can be taken before or after exposure to the rabies virus, the main forms being:

1. Prevention vaccination

This vaccination is indicated in the prevention of rabies before exposure to the virus, and should be given to people who are at high risk of contamination or who are at permanent risk, such as:

  • People who work in a laboratory for the diagnosis, research or production of rabies virus;
  • Veterinarians and assistants;
  • Handlers of animals;
  • Hunters and forest workers;
  • Farmers;
  • Professionals who prepare animals for exhibition;
  • Professionals who study natural cavities, such as caves for example.

In addition, people traveling to high-risk locations should also get this vaccine.

2. Vaccination after exposure to the virus

Post-exposure vaccination should be started immediately at the slightest risk of contamination by the rabies virus, under medical supervision, in a specialized anti-rabies treatment center. In addition, it is very important to treat the wound locally and, if necessary, take immunoglobulins.

Dose schedule for rabies vaccine

The human rabies vaccine is administered by a he althcare professional via the intramuscular route into the arm, and the vaccination schedule must be adapted according to the person's rabies immune status, which include:

1. Pre-exposure prophylaxis

Pre-exposure prophylaxis is given to people who are not infected with the rabies virus, but who are at increased risk of being exposed to the virus.

The human rabies vaccine dose schedule for pre-exposure prophylaxis is 3 doses of vaccine, as follows:

  • 1st dose: on the chosen date;
  • 2nd dose: 7 days after first dose;
  • 3rd dose: 28 days after first dose.

14 days after the last dose, a serological test should be performed to check the levels of antibodies in the blood and if the person has been immunized against the rabies virus. If the person has not been immunized, a booster dose should be given, according to medical advice.

Furthermore, it is necessary to give a booster every 6 months for people who handle live rabies virus, and every 12 months for people at continuous risk of exposure. For people not exposed to risk, the booster is given 12 months after the first dose, and then every 3 years thereafter.

2. Post-exposure treatment

In post-exposure treatment, that is, after the person has had contact with the rabies virus through the bite of infected animals, the doses depend on the person's immunization. and include:

Immunization condition

Dose schedule

People who have received the pre-exposure prophylactic vaccine and who have proof that they have antibodies against the virus

  • 1st dose: on the day of the accident;
  • 2nd dose: 3 days after first dose.

In these cases, it is not necessary to take the anti-rabies serum.

Persons who have not been immunized, i.e. who have not had the pre-exposure prophylactic vaccine or who have had the vaccine before but have not produced antibodies against the virus

  • 1st dose: on the day of the accident, and anti-rabies serum (immunoglobulin) should also be taken;
  • 2nd dose: 3 days after first dose;
  • 3rd dose: 7 days after first dose;
  • 4th dose: 14 days after first dose.

For people who have a weakened immune system, as in the case of HIV infection or use of immunosuppressive drugs, for example, the 5th dose of the vaccine should be taken, applied 28 days after the first dose.

The rabies vaccine must be administered by a he althcare professional, and it is important that the animal's conditions are taken into account for treatment after exposure.

Possible side effects

Although they are rare, adverse effects such as pain at the application site, fever, malaise, muscle and joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, redness, itching, bruising, tiredness, flu-like symptoms, headache, dizziness, drowsiness, chills, abdominal pain and nausea.

Severe allergic reactions, acute inflammation of the brain, seizures, sudden hearing loss, diarrhea, hives, shortness of breath and vomiting may occur less frequently.

Who should not use

In cases where pre-exposure vaccination is intended, it is not advisable to do so in pregnant women, nor in people with fever or acute illness, and vaccination should be postponed.In addition, it should not be used in people with a known allergy to any of the components of the vaccine.

In cases where exposure to the virus has already occurred, there is no contraindication, since the evolution of the rabies virus infection, if not treated, usually leads to death.

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