VACCINATIONS; ARE YOU GETTING
YOUR MONEY’S WORTH? By Michael Cox for American Cattlemen
lthough many modern vaccines are offering protection against seven or more life-threatening diseases in a single shot, producers should not become complacent around proper vaccine management and administration, simply because the products are so user friendly.
The desired benefits of vaccines will only be fully realized if they are stored, handled and administered correctly.
Regardless of whether a modified live vaccine or a dead vaccine is being administered, the product should be stored in a safe environment at the appropriate temperature until the time of use. Most vaccines require storage at refrigerator temperature, and cattlemen should consider using coolers when moving vaccines and working cattle outdoors. Exposing vaccines to freezing temperatures, direct sunlight or the heat of a farm truck during summer can alter the nature and effectiveness of the vaccine. The vaccine should
be within expiration date and ‘fresh’; it is best practice to only rehydrate small quantities of vaccine at a time for immediate use.
With calf preconditioning and weaning taking place over the coming months, it can be tempting to work livestock once, and administer all vaccines, wormers and any other animal health treatments on the same day. However, ‘stacking’ vaccines and other products can overload the animal’s immunity responsiveness and reduce the desired benefits of vaccinating. In particular, using several gram-negative vaccines at once can create endotoxic reactions in cattle.
Producers are encouraged to administer gram-negative vaccines one week apart, if more than two vaccines are to be used as part of the herd health plan. Most preconditioning programs recommend vaccinations for IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV, 7-way clostridial vaccine, Mannheimia haemolytica and Haemophilus somnus. Other vaccines may also be required depending on the disease status of your local area and the health status required by future buyers of the livestock. If using a modified live vaccine for IBR in breeding females, care must be taken to complete the vaccination program at least 30 days before breeding. As IBR has negative effects on ovaries and follicular health, so too does the Modified Live Vaccine for IBR, as the vaccine mimics infection and ‘primes’ the immune system to create antibodies. Once the 30-day period has passed after the initial MLV IBR shot, ovary and follicular health return * Continued on page 12