The rabies vaccine for humans is 100 percent effective when administered in time, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For those exposed to the rabies virus, vaccination must occur prior to the virus infecting the nervous system.
Typical side effects of the rabies vaccine are soreness and irritation at the area of the injection, reports the CDC. Temporary nausea, hives, dizziness and muscle soreness are also common. Allergic reactions to the vaccination are possible, but extreme reactions are very rare. Affected individuals should report negative reactions to a doctor immediately.
There are only eight to 10 people on record as having survived the rabies virus without vaccination, according to ABC News. This low survival rate highlights the need to seek prompt medical attention.
There is no way to test a person for rabies prior to the onset of the disease, according to the World Health Organization. As such, administration of the rabies vaccine as a preventative measure is imperative if any exposure to rabies is anticipated.