Timing is everything when it comes to successful reproductive programs, and that includes timing of vaccinations to help prevent reproductive diseases. Following the timing guidelines on product labels is critically important to helping guarantee safety and efficacy.
"Vaccinating against reproductive diseases helps keep cows pregnant, helping protect your reproductive program and bottom line," says Victor Cortese, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ABVP, Director, Veterinary Specialties Group, Pfizer Animal Health. "However, working with your veterinarian to set up vaccination programs and following labeled directions are key to vaccine efficacy and safety, especially when using modified-live virus (MLV) vaccines."
Understand MLV vaccines
Different types of vaccines, such as an MLV or killed vaccine, stimulate the immune system in different ways. MLV vaccines contain live organisms that undergo limited replication within the body, while killed vaccines use dead organisms.
"MLV vaccines closely mimic a natural infection, since the animal is actually seeing the modified pathogen in a more natural form," Dr. Cortese says. "As a result, MLV vaccines can help create an effective, balanced and what should be an entire immune response."
Studies involving infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) virus vaccines have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of MLV vaccines, such as BOVI-SHIELD GOLD® FP*, in helping protect pregnant heifers, cows and their fetuses. Cattle vaccinated with BOVI-SHIELD GOLD FP within the preceding 12 to 17 months and then vaccinated during each trimester of pregnancy had abortion rates similar to the control group, which was vaccinated with a placebo.1-3
Take steps to help protect your herd
"MLV vaccines are safe to use, but there are risks involved when using them in pregnant cattle," Dr. Cortese says. "Using these vaccines against their label indications and without supervision from a veterinarian are the biggest risks of all."
Dr. Cortese also recommends additional tips to using MLV vaccines successfully.
Regularly consult your veterinarian: Your veterinarian is a valuable resource regarding the science and proper use of vaccines. Include your veterinarian as part of your reproductive health team.
Write vaccination programs: Having written programs, which include timing guidelines, for your vaccinations will provide the guidelines for you and anyone administering vaccines on your operation. Reviewing them regularly with your employees and your veterinarian also will help keep them up to date.
Keep accurate records: Vaccine administrations should be included in your reproductive records. Record the date the first vaccination is given, and review the records to determine when a booster shot is needed.
Risk-free protection for your herd
With a Fetal Protection (FP) Guarantee, Pfizer Animal Health ensures your herd will be free of IBR abortions if the cows and heifers were vaccinated according to label directions at least 30 days prebreeding with any of Pfizer Animal Health's family of FP vaccines.** In addition, Pfizer Animal Health guarantees 100% of calves will be born free of bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) persistent infection (PI) provided that all cows and heifers have been vaccinated according to label direction at least 30 days prebreeding.
"With this guarantee, you can have peace of mind using our products, knowing that they are safe and effective," Dr. Cortese adds.
About Pfizer Animal Health
Pfizer Animal Health, a business unit of Pfizer Inc., is a global leader in the discovery, development, manufacture and commercialization of animal health medicines and vaccines, with a focus on both livestock and companion animals. For more than 60 years, we have been committed to enhancing the health of animals and bringing solutions to our customers who raise and care for them. To learn more, visit www.pfizeranimalhealth.com.
For more information, contact:
Pfizer Animal Health
Bader Rutter & Associates