Not all vaccines are equal. Knowing all the facts about vaccines can help you choose the best options for your operation and help minimize the risk of reproductive diseases.
Consult with your veterinarian to understand specific product label claims and select the right vaccines for your operation. Start by reviewing key vaccine selection factors listed below. Roll over the numbers below for information on each level of protection.
Read vaccine labels to determine the level of protection that has been demonstrated and licensed for each pathogen (disease organism), and choose those with the highest level of protection. The five U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) label claims, starting with the highest level of protection are:
The DOI is the minimum duration of time you can expect the vaccine to help protect your cattle. Each antigen in the vaccine can have different DOI claims, and many vaccines may not have a demonstrated DOI on the label at all.
In general, you should select vaccines with longer demonstrated protection to help ensure your cattle are protected during critical exposure periods when disease resistance is low and disease challenge is high. For reproductive vaccines, the recommended DOI varies by pathogen:
Until the fetus develops its own immune system during the third trimester, it relies on the dam’s immune system for disease protection. To help ensure protection throughout pregnancy and beyond:
Vaccines contain microorganisms that stimulate an animal’s immune system to help produce an immune response that works to help eliminate invading disease microorganisms.
Vaccines containing a killed virus:
MLV vaccines contain live microorganisms that have been modified. The advantages of MLV vaccines include:
Not all vaccines are licensed for use in pregnant cows and calves nursing pregnant cows. If you must vaccinate a pregnant cow, choose vaccines that:
Combination vaccines include multiple antigens to help reduce the number of vaccines you need to administer. Even though two vaccines might contain the same antigens, they can differ by their level of protection and demonstrated DOI. The level of protection and DOI you need depends on your:
A label claim comparison chart makes it easy for you to differentiate between vaccines that offer similar antigen combinations. To determine which vaccines are right for your operation, just follow these simple steps:
1. Scan the top bar to find the vaccines you’d like to compare.
2. In the left-hand column, find the different antigens that are important for your operation, and eliminate any vaccines that do not contain these antigens.
3. By referring to the label claims chart in the lower left-hand corner, choose the vaccines that offer the highest level of protection for the disease organisms of interest. The chart lists label claims in descending order, with “Prevention of infection” being the highest level of protection.
4. Scan the DOI line to find the duration you can expect the vaccine to help protect your cattle. In general, a longer demonstrated DOI will be more likely to help protect your cattle during critical exposure periods. Look for the “Approved DOI Claim” symbol to help ensure the vaccine has a demonstrated DOI.
5. If you are vaccinating pregnant cattle, scan the “Approved for Use in Pregnant Cows” bar.
6. To help you make a final decision, refer to the “Route of Administration” line and the “Requires Two Initial Doses” symbol.