How does the rabies vaccine work? If the virus sneakily gets to your brain, why after vaccination it starts detecting the virus given it was not possible to find it before?

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How does the rabies vaccine work? If the virus sneakily gets to your brain, why after vaccination it starts detecting the virus given it was not possible to find it before?

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Vaccines don’t usually contain the actual live virus, they inactivate it meaning that it can’t really “hide” as an active virus would.

Additionally, vaccines usually contain an [adjuvant](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Immunologic_adjuvant), which will increase the body’s immunological response.

vaccine “trains” the immune system to recognize and fight the virus.

Rabies virus spreads slowly, and bite sites are often far from the brain (legs or arms). So if you get vaccine right after the bite, your immune system will start fighting the virus before it gets to the brain.

Vaccination, like exposure, is not an all-or-nothing deal. It’s like a castle (you) training its defenders (immune system) to recognize terrorists (viruses) infiltrating. The better training, the less damage the terrorists can do before your body identifies and removed them

The number of terrorists matter too, so minimizing exposure to viruses leads to less damage even if your defenses are trained

Rabies travels very slowly. Assuming you aren’t bit on the head or neck, it takes weeks or months for the rabies virus to travel through your nervous system to your brain.

The rabies vaccine trains your body to recognize and fight the virus BEFORE it starts causing serious brain damage. Naturally, our bodies take so long to catch on to the virus that it has already caused lethal brain damage before the body is able to start fighting it off. Luckily, the virus moves so slowly that the vaccine can train the immune system before the virus can reach the brain.