Practical immunology and beef and dairy vx protocols
Starting from ground zero–what, when, and how
Vaccination is an important component for the prevention and control of disease in cattle. However, too often vaccines are viewed as a catch-all solution for management and nutrition errors; the “best” vaccine can never overcome these deficiencies. Proper vaccination in the young and developing heifer is the key to long-term development of that animal as a reproductive unit in the herd. Modified-live vaccines (MLV) have been used because of the good antibody response, longer duration of immunity, fewer doses needed per animal, and lower cost. However, non-adjuvanted MLV vaccines fail to booster well vaccinated animals, as active vaccine-induced immunity neutralizes vaccine virus preventing the MLV from replicating and preventing a booster immune response. Improved adjuvants have increased the scope and duration of both MLV and inactivated virus immunity. The periparturient period (the last 3 weeks prior to calving and the first 3 weeks following calving) are poor times to initiate an immune response—hormonal, dietary and metabolic factors limit immune responsiveness. Postpartum is also a difficult time to vaccinate as lactation energy demands supercedes immunity. Each vaccine program needs to be designed based on animal flow, actual “disease” threats, and labor on the farm.