Using an intranasal vaccine at branding or summer turnout can help producers prepare calves to kick-start their fight against bovine respiratory disease (BRD), according to Dr. Michael Nichols, DVM, Cattle and Equine Technical Services, Pfizer Animal Health.
“There are intranasal vaccines that can be used in very young calves,” Dr. Nichols says. “In fact, an ideal time to use them is at branding or turnout for two major reasons — some intranasal vaccines can help override maternal antibodies present in colostrum and they can help prime the calf’s immune system, helping make future vaccinations more effective.”1-3
Ingestion of adequate colostrum after birth is critical to a calf’s health during the first months of life. While antibodies present in colostrum can help fight off diseases in young calves, they also can interfere with the immune response to vaccination, potentially making the vaccine less effective.1 A recent trial tested young calves’ ability to respond to bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) vaccination in the presence of maternal antibodies received from colostrum. The results demonstrated that calves vaccinated with INFORCETM 3 respiratory vaccine had almost half the lung lesions, 44 percent fewer, and reduced morbidity when compared with non-vaccinated calves.2
“This trial indicates that the BRSV fraction present in INFORCE 3 can override BRSV maternal antibodies,2 which is especially important for young calves at branding or turnout, as BRSV is a primary cause of viral pneumonia and can be particularly damaging to calves from birth through weaning,”4 Dr. Nichols says.
In addition to overriding BRSV maternal antibodies, during another recent trial, it was shown that INFORCE 3 doesn’t interfere with concurrent use of a Mannheimia haemolytica vaccine and even helps make subsequent BRSV vaccinations more effective.3
“Historically, vaccination protocols for beef calves have been developed primarily on the basis of convenience, with little consideration given to the potential interactions that may occur when multiple vaccines are given concurrently,” Dr. Nichols explains. “This study was conducted to further clarify these vaccine interactions.”
It showed that calves vaccinated with INFORCE 3 and ONE SHOT® at branding had similar antibody responses to those vaccinated with ONE SHOT alone, meaning INFORCE 3 did not interfere with the concurrent use of ONE SHOT. And, these same calves had substantially greater BRSV antibody levels following vaccination with Bovi-Shield GOLD® 5 at weaning.3