Why do I need a rabies vaccine?
Individuals who work with wild animals or the tissues of wild animals that may be infected with the rabies virus should be vaccinated. In California, common rabid animals include: bats, skunks, and foxes.
How am I protected with this vaccine?
When the series of 3 rabies vaccines has been completed, you will have antibodies to the rabies virus. A blood test is done 6 weeks after your last injection to confirm that you are immune to rabies. An antibody level of ≥0.1 IU/mL indicates adequate immunity.
Do I still need emergency care if I get bitten?
Yes. If you have already been vaccinated, you will only require 2 additional rabies vaccines. Anyone not previously vaccinated will require 5 injections.
What should I expect at my appointment?
Rabies vaccines are given in the upper arm, like a flu shot. Some people experience soreness at the injection site later that same day.