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Rabies vaccination


The vaccine consists of de-activated rabies viruses which were bred on human diploid cells or chicken eggs. According to the vaccine, the following additive compounds are added: human albumin, phenolrot, various types of salt, saccharose, polygelin, and traces of: neomycin, chlortetracyclin, amphotericin B . There can be traces of egg white.

What is problematic is the production of vaccines in a large number of third world countries. For cost reasons the brains of mice, hamsters or sheep are used to breed the viruses. In India, approximately 700000 people a year receive an active immunization against rabies which is made of the brains of sheep. As a result, one out of 3000-7000 people who have been vaccinated develops a severe disease which is accompanied by depithing of the peripheral or central nerves (like multiple sclerosis). The active vaccination would be much safer as it is bred on cell cultures, but it is also more expensive ( John TJ.: An ethical dilemma in rabies immunisation.Vaccine. 1997 Spring;15 Suppl:S12-5.)
Then there is the fact that these vaccines frequently only offer an insufficient protection rate ( Zanetti CR, Chaves LB, Silva AC, Lee LM, Pereira OA. Studies on human anti-rabies immunization in Brazil. I--Evaluation of the 3 + 1 pre-exposure vaccination schedule under field conditions.Rev Inst Med Trop Sao Paulo. 1995 Jul-Aug;37(4):349-52.)

This ist he reason why Chiron has established a joint venture and a vaccination production company in India, where the vaccine Rabipur is produced (in accordance with Western specifications). (DDr.Wolfgang Maurer). It is to guarantee that people who have been vaccinated receive a high-quality vaccine in India. Whether all people who live in third world countries get high-quality vaccines remains questionable.

Rabies vaccination is an indication vaccination and only recommended for risk groups such as hunters and forest workers.


Vaccine which is bred on human cells is more effective than vaccines which are bred on hamsters, rats or sheep brains. The protection rate is relatively high.


Side effects, vaccination complications and vaccination damages of rabies vaccination

Aside from local reactions at the injection site the side effects of rabies vaccine include fever, headaches, swelling of the lymph nodes, increasing paralysis, inflammation of the optic nerve. Cases of neurological disease and Guillain Barré-syndrome have been reported after rabies vaccinations.

In a trial conducted by students of veterinary medicine 19% of the people who had been vaccinated developed slight side effects. No systemic allergic reactions were observed ( Kagawa KJ, Chomel BB, Lery L.: Rabies and brucellosis immunization status and adverse reactions to rabies vaccines in veterinary students. Comp Immunol Microbiol Infect Dis. 1992 Apr;15(2):79-87.)

Sreesen, Bernard et al. noted that symptoms of an immune-complex like disease have been observed after booster vaccinations. Side effects included urticaria, spotty skin rashes and angioaedemas and joint pin in 10% of the people who had been vaccinated.(Dreesen DW, Bernard KW, Parker RA, Deutsch AJ, Brown J. : Immune complex-like disease in 23 persons following a booster dose of rabies human diploid cell vaccine. Vaccine. 1986 Mar;4(1):45-9.)

According to the package insert, the side effect of Rabipur®, a vaccination, included:

Very frequent (= 10%): pain, reactions and hardening of the injection site;
frequent (= 1%-<10%); erythema at the injection site; Asthenie, nausea, fever, fatigue, influenza-like symptoms, lymphadenopathy, headache, rash, myalgia, arthrialgia, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract;
rare (=0.1%->0,01%): circulatory reactions, paraesthesia, sensitivity;
very rare (<0.01%): vertigo, diseases of the nervous system.

Side effects of rabies vaccination HDC manufactured by Aventis Pasteur according to package insert:

Cases of temporary neurological disturbances, as for example muscle cramps, polyneuritides, sensitivity disorder, walking disorder and Guillain Barré Syndrome.


You can find side effects of the rabies vaccine in our vaccine adverse side effects database

Reported cases:
vaccindamage database

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