Livestock vaccination programs not ‘one and done’ | Livestock

Vaccination programs need to be able to adapt to new disease challenges, and updating programs likely begin with a call to a veterinarian.

New viruses could also result in a totally revamped vaccination program.

“It all starts with your relationship with your veterinarian,” says Lindsey Waechter-Mead, an Extension beef veterinarian with the University of Nebraska. “You need to talk with someone who knows your cattle and your goals.”

She says most programs start out with a core set of vaccinations, including what is known as the 5-way series for respiratory ailments such as BRSV, BVD and IVR.

That program also includes a 7- or 8-way set for bacterial issues.

“It’s a really good first vaccination protocol for calves,” Waechter-Mead says. “The majority are going to get boosted at weaning.”

She says producers need to talk to their veterinarian to keep up on any new threats that may necessitate change to the vaccination program.

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“You want to make sure that you’re staying on top of what is going on around you,” Waechter-Mead says.

Producers also need to make sure they are following guidelines set in the Beef Quality Assurance program, she says. Directions on the label also need to be followed.

Waechter-Mead says the vaccination program should be evaluated often to make sure it is working.

“This is not a one-and-done protocol,” she says. “It needs to be revisited every year.”

The hog industry continues to deal with old threats such as PRRS, but producers must be vigilant regarding new threats, says Chris Rademacher, Extension swine veterinarian at Iowa State University.

He says developing a good diagnostic system can help make sure the vaccination program is effective. That includes routine screenings to find pathogens.

“Remember that just because you find pathogens, they may not be causing a disease,” Rademacher says.

Careful attention should be given to young pigs, he says.

The first step to making sure vaccination program are working is a simple walk through the building.

“If you see something going on that you’ve seen before, you should be ready to take care of it,” Rademacher says. “If it’s new, get right on it.”

He says most vaccination programs are herd-specific.

“What’s needed on one farm might be totally different on another farm,” Rademacher says.

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