Rabies prophylaxis protocols require both vaccine booster shots and multiple post-exposure booster shots, in addition to the initial "immunization".

What is the evidence for the need for these additional immunizations? Is there any documented case of a person contracting rabies after getting a single rabies vaccine dose?

The reason for asking this question is that I received a post-exposure vaccination back around 2005 and at that time the doctor recommended that I come back only for a single booster shot later. Now, apparently in the last 15 or so years the protocol has changed from one post-exposure to three and I am wondering if there is actually any real science behind that or it is a wash-rinse-repeat instruction.

  • The answer to has anyone ever gotten rabies after getting incomplete dosing is yes. There is real science beind it, because one booster shot has not resulted in detectable antibodies in some patients, and, yes, some patients died. It was a long time ago, though. Post-exposure prophylaxis is more complicated in persons who ave received an initial series. See Laptops in the dark and miscalculating bats: how dangerous is that for rabies? Aug 24 at 3:13
  • @anongoodnurse: one can alas die of rabies even after the complete vaccine dosing, and RIG administration, at least in China "31 cases who were clinically diagnosed with rabies received the complete PEP vaccination series and RIG, along with integrated wound treatment in the medical facility, regardless of exposure category, but still died as a result of rabies" nature.com/articles/s41598-018-35158-0
    – Fizz
    Sep 20 at 11:01
  • 1
    @Fizz Thats a post-exposure vaccine, not a regular vaccination. I am asking about people who get rabies AFTER having been previously immunized, not about people who were bitten and then got emergency post-exposure vaccines. Sep 20 at 13:05

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