Why don't people get vaccinated against rabies?

I took Katya to the vet last night to get her yearly rabies vaccination. I started wondering why, since rabies vaccination is required by law or strongly recommended by vets for our pets, why people don’t get rabies vaccinations? I know they’re available- my sister had to get one before she went to Central America a few years ago.

Expensive, painful, and very few people get rabies. There may be potential side affects, not sure about that one. They should (and do) limit them to just the people who are likely to be exposed.

What Telemark said. Also, I understand that they need to be renewed every three years or so… and, given how rare the disease is for the normal (not working in an animal shelter or whatever) person, it’s just more efficient to get the shot after you’re bitten, rather than before.

This staff report by Jill may be of interest: Why do dogs get vaccinated against rabies but not people?

Mine wasn’t painful; only one in the glutemus maximus (sp) a series of others in the arm. Expensive, but still working twelve years later as my physician discovered when I was bitten befriending a lost dog in the rain this year.
Hey! You 'Possums! Get off my lawn!

It’s not particularly painful. I’ve been vaccinated several times, since in my line of work, when mist-netting birds we sometimes catch bats as well, which have to be removed by hand. Also, it’s been a precaution when I’ve been working in remote areas far from immediate medical care.

As has been said, rabies is a rare disease in humans. Vaccination is generally limited to those, like me, who may be exposed to it in the course of their work.

From what I understood when I got my rabies series several years ago, the human rabies vaccination is quite expensive. My boss paid for mine when I was trapping feral cats, and I understood the series to cost several hundred dollars. I got them in the arm, and my arm was sore for days after each shot, but I had no other noticable side effects other than growling at the guy who gave them to me. I had looked all over for some of that candy that fizzes in your mouth but couldn’t find any. I had plans, you see… :slight_smile:

Hydrogen peroxide works well.
One of the annoying girls at work asked me some annoying thing that was none of her business, and I snapped at her…snapped like a dog. She jumped three feet. :slight_smile:

It’s also the only disease that can be prevented with a vaccine after infection, which makes it less important to get preventatively inoculated.

The old method, injections through the abdominal wall, was the terribly painful version. My husband can attest to this as he was unlucky enough to have been bitten by a turned-out-to-be-rabid dog while delivering mail; he’s a letter carrier for the USPS. This was apparently around the time that the arm injections were becoming commonly used, but not at the hospital he went to.

I was vaccinated during my stint as Large Animal Groom at the OSU Veterinary hospital.

Some of the most disturbing things I have ever witnessed were rabid horses. A close approximation that might resonate with Dopers would be to imagine the equine equivalent of the Ravers in Firefly/Serenity…without the rape/cannibalism.

Rabies is difficult to diagnose in horses, as it manifests with symptoms that can overlap with other maladies. Horses would often be brought to our barn and given a battery of tests to narrow down a diagnosis. I’ve seen animals slam themselves against the walls and mesh between stalls with such force that blood would spray into the isles.

Why would we vaccinate dogs against people?

Excellent user name/comment combination.