Do reactions from rabies vaccine occur? yes, but it's not a particularly dangerous vaccine. I have never seen a negative reaction, but I do know people who have ,so I won't say it's not possible. I also have many colleagues that have given many doses with no issues.
The thing about rabies is that it is fatal and zoonotic as you pointed out. And with horses the signs can be very confusing so it is easy to get exposed. So people need to make informed decisions. The risk is small, but in some areas, it's enough of a risk to warrant the vaccinations.
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