What would happen if a human was injected with a rabies vaccine meant for dogs? I know vaccines can contain weak or dead strains of the virus, but is it possible that the human could become infected with rabies from a vaccine meant for dogs? My thinking is that maybe a dogs' immune system is more suited to deal with a weak strain of rabies that would otherwise infect a human.

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    $\begingroup$ The question here is if the vaccines used in human and dogs are different. Or if there are really big differences between the immune systems of both, which I doubt. Generally living strains are weakened so that they trigger an immune response but not the full blown disease, which would be fatal in the case of rabies. $\endgroup$ – Chris Feb 17 '15 at 7:26

It would depend on which vaccine you're talking about, as there are several. Some use attenuated strains of the Rabies virus, others use killed, and some are recombinant glycoprotein vaccines. Here is a list from the CDC of all the rabies vaccines available in the US in 2011 (I wasn't able to find anything newer). Generally speaking, through, one would expect the FDA in the US and the relevant authorities in other companies to require vaccine manufacturers show that their product is safe in other species, in case of accidental exposure, such as you are talking about here. This is especially true of something being given to an animal that is quite often a family pet.

If you think you've been exposed to any type of medication which has not been prescribed for you, including dog rabies vaccine, you should seek medical attention immediately, if not sooner, but based on my experience in the pharmaceutical industry and dealing with regulatory agencies, you should be pretty safe, as the regulations surrounding vaccines are quite stringent.

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    $\begingroup$ Vaccines can generally be considered safe for this case. The charges are tested individually and are not released if there is any doubt on their quality or safety. $\endgroup$ – Chris Feb 17 '15 at 7:27
  • $\begingroup$ @Chris, I think the question then becomes: Is it possible for humans to get rabies from human attenuated rabies vaccine? $\endgroup$ – One Face Feb 17 '15 at 14:21
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    $\begingroup$ @CRags that's what I was trying to address, in part - pet vaccines have to be tested for possible transmission to humans. They wouldn't possibly use potentially contagious vectors in a vaccine meant to prevent disease in both species. $\endgroup$ – MattDMo Feb 17 '15 at 14:51

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