Getting the most out of a respiratory vaccine comes down to a few simple questions producers should ask themselves, says Gerald Stokka, DVM, Veterinary Operations, Pfizer Animal Health. Answering these questions can help ensure a herd health program has a strong foundation for the entire year.
1. Are your management practices up to snuff?
While vaccines are the workhorses when it comes to helping prevent disease, healthy herds often begin with good genetics and management practices. Producers should evaluate current management practices to make sure cattle are handled properly, have appropriate nutrition and aren’t overcrowded or unnecessarily stressed.
2. Is your veterinarian involved?
It’s important that a veterinarian is involved in all herd health decisions. Additionally, veterinarians can help producers look for vaccines with high quality control standards and the most science behind them, and ones that are labeled for many types of operations.
3. Does this vaccination program include all of the diseases I should be concerned about?
Common problems, like bovine respiratory disease (BRD), often develop following a combination of stressful events, and the presence of viral and bacterial agents. While management changes may help reduce stress, they may not help prevent diseases that lead to the development of BRD, including infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR), parainfluenza type 3 (PI3), bovine virus diarrhea (BVD) and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV).1 By using a vaccine that helps protect against all these challenges, such as Bovi-Shield GOLD®, producers can help protect cattle more thoroughly.
4. Can I trust this vaccine program to prevent disease?
To get the most out of a vaccine program, a vaccine should be labeled for use in pregnant cattle and suckling calves* and should be handled properly. Additionally, not all vaccines can promise to prevent disease. However, Bovi-Shield GOLD® 5 is the first and only respiratory vaccine to have a prevention of IBR claim — the highest level of IBR respiratory protection available. What’s more, Bovi-Shield GOLD 5 is labeled to aid in the prevention of BVD Types 1 and 2, parainfluenza type 3 (PI3) and bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) respiratory diseases.
5. What is the duration of immunity?
Producers should look for vaccines that can offer a suitable duration of immunity, like Bovi-Shield GOLD 5, which prevents respiratory disease caused by IBR for at least 280 days, and aids in the prevention of BVD Types 1 and 2 respiratory disease for at least 279 days and 280 days, respectively, when administered using a subcutaneous injection. That’s long enough to help protect cattle from branding to weaning, and while backgrounding and feeding.
*LABEL INDICATIONS: The Bovi-Shield GOLD line and PregGuard® GOLD FP® 10 are recommended for vaccination of healthy cows and heifers approximately one month prior to breeding. These products also can be administered for pregnant cattle provided they were vaccinated, according to label directions, with any Bovi-Shield GOLD FP or PregGuard GOLD FP vaccine prior to breeding initially and within 12 months thereafter. Failure to follow label directions may result in abortions. The Bovi-Shield GOLD line may be administered to calves nursing pregnant cows, provided their dams were vaccinated within the last 12 months as described above. Consistent with good vaccination practices, heifers should receive at least two vaccine doses, with the second administered approximately 30 days prebreeding.