Pre-exposure prophylaxis against rabies in children: Safety of purified chick embryo cell rabies vaccine (Vaxirab N) when administered by intradermal route

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Abstract

Animal bites in humans are a public health problem. Children are the most frequently exposed, representing 50% of human exposures in canine rabies infected areas. Pre-exposure vaccination using cell culture vaccines is a safe and effective method of preventing rabies among children in these highly endemic regions. The development of immunological memory after pre exposure vaccination has established long lasting immunity against rabies in humans. The present study assessed the safety of Purified Chick Embryo cell Rabies Vaccine (Vaxirab N) administered as a threedose intradermal pre-exposure regimen on days 0, 7, and 21 in healthy volunteered children of 5-10 y age group from an urban poor locality in Bangalore, India. One hundred fifty three apparently healthy children of both sexes between 5 and 10 y of age were enrolled in the study and 123 (80.4%) completed all three doses. A total of 405 doses of intradermal vaccine was administered, among which 25 adverse reactions were reported from 17 children. The adverse reactions were pain at the injection site 15 (3.7%), redness 2 (0.5%), itching at the site of injection 1 (0.2%), fatigue 1 (0.2%), fever 3 (0.7%), myalgia 2 (0.5%) and allergy 1 (0.2%). All reactions subsided without any complication. In conclusion, pre exposure vaccination against rabies is a useful tool for protecting children living in highly endemic regions and Vaxirab N has proved to be safe and well tolerated by intradermal route among children.

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