Killed vaccine means that the virus in the sample is dead. It should not be able to convert into the actual disease and cause active disease. Modified live vaccines are the virus with a slight modification that leaves them inert, but the body will fight it. The killed vaccines require an adjuvant in order to make the body react, such as aluminum or egg protein.
Merial makes the safest vaccines, IMO. They have a line of recombinant vaccines that are extremely safe. Honestly since I started working in clinics, the amount of vaccine reactions has gone down dramatically. The companies have learned and gotten better products.
I wouldn't mess with rabies either. The disease is basically 100% fatal, contagious to us, and because of it's extreme mortality, required by law. Titer testing can get you around it, however I wouldn't hesitate to boost after a year them test. Just to be safe. Dealing with rabies suspect animals or if your pet bites someone, it's a way bigger hassle if they are up to date versus if they aren't. You get luckier when they are up to date.
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