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Immunizing Vulnerable Populations Like Rag Pickers, Garbage Collectors, Municipality Workers and Newspaper Hawkers against Rabies in Shimla Municipality, HP, India

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DOI: 10.4236/wjv.2015.51003    5,629 Downloads   6,300 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

Background: Rabies is a zoonotic disease and many vulnerable sections like rag pickers and municipality workers neglect animal bites due to ignorance of their potential deadly outcomes. Stray dogs abound in garbage pits and this population is exposed to their attacks. It should be a mandate for municipalities to help protect their sanitary workforce, especially rag pickers, from deadly infectious diseases such as Rabies, Hepatitis-B, HIV, Tetanus etc. Objectives: Objective of this study was to study methods to provide pre-exposure Rabies vaccination for such highly exposed populations by engaging them and understanding their perception of this disease through a constant dialogue with them. Methods: We started by engaging with the rag pickers to know how best to entice them to get themselves immunized. We then attempted to search literature for the most practical methods likely to succeed in reducing risk of rabies deaths in this population. Results: WHO approved 3 injections of 0.1 ml tissue culture vaccine on days 0, 7 and 21 were tried but were shown to result in many dropouts among rag pickers for repeat injections. We then followed a method where 0.1 ml of rabies vaccine was injected at 4 different anatomical sited in one setting. This proved acceptable and relatively inexpensive. A small number of subjects were studied by determination of neutralizing antibody by RFFIT, which proved immunogenic having anamnestic response on boosters given single IM or at 4 sites ID subsequently, implying that short schedule rabies pre-exposure vaccination can be done in high risk groups and may save lives if applied to the poorest that are highly exposed.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Bharti, O. (2015) Immunizing Vulnerable Populations Like Rag Pickers, Garbage Collectors, Municipality Workers and Newspaper Hawkers against Rabies in Shimla Municipality, HP, India. World Journal of Vaccines, 5, 19-24. doi: 10.4236/wjv.2015.51003.

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