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Rabies Vaccine

Rabies is spread to humans when virus in the saliva of an infected animal enters through a bite, scratch, broken skin, the mucous membranes or the respiratory tract.

• Anyone that has possibly come into contact with the rabies virus through a bite, scratch or other contact with a potentially infected animal should get this vaccine.
• The vaccine is publicly funded (free) when Public Health recommends it based on a risk assessment of the situation.
• Rabies vaccine may also be recommended for people at high risk of close contact with rabid animals or the rabies virus due to work or travel.
• Pre-exposure vaccination is not publicly funded. People would have to pay for the vaccine in these cases.

• When used in combination with rabies immune globulin (RabIg), Rabies vaccine is highly effective at preventing rabies in those who have been exposed.
• No cases of post-exposure rabies have occurred in Canada or the US when the vaccine and rabies immune globulin are given as the recommended.
• It is very important that people receive all of the doses needed and on the schedule that is recommended for them.
  • At this time there are no other ways to prevent this disease.
• The risk of a serious reaction or side effect from this vaccine is much less than the risk of rabies.
• If you experience any side effect worse than what is listed below, please seek medical advice and notify the health unit.


• Pain where needle was given
• Redness
• Swelling
• Hard lump
• Itching

Less Common

• Headache
• Nausea
• Abdominal pain
• Muscle aches
• Dizziness
• Feeling unwell
• Fever
• Muscle pain
• Joint pain

• There are no contraindications to receiving this vaccine, when it is indicated for post-exposure prophylaxis.
• If someone has an allergy to a vaccine component or has an allergic reaction to a dose of Rabies vaccine, they should receive the remaining doses in the series in their local hospital ER.
• When anyone has been bitten/scratched by an animal, it is also recommended to ensure their Tetanus shots are up to date.
• Those who have not had a Tetanus shot in the last 5-10 years should receive one.
• A tetanus shot can be given at the same visit when Rabies vaccine is given.


Imovax® Rabies

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