Building immunity and preventing disease are integral parts of achieving dairy wellness. Incorporating demonstrated vaccines into a well-designed vaccination protocol helps enhance the cow’s immune system response to disease, thus keeping cows healthy. This in turn helps deliver optimal growth and production while minimizing costs associated with disease.
“Implementing a vaccination protocol is part of an overall strategy meant to lead directly to healthy cows and financially profitable dairies,” said Douglas Braun, DVM, senior veterinarian for
When looking at the many vaccines on the market, and sorting through the many competitive products and facts, Braun recommends that both veterinarians and producers turn toward an unbiased source to help make the purchase decision—the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The decision about which type of label claim a vaccine will be granted is based on an evaluation by the Center for Veterinary Biologicals, which is part of the Animal and Plant Inspection Service of the USDA. The USDA may grant one of five possible label claims. They include:
1. Prevention of infection: Prevents all colonization or replication of challenge organism.
2. Prevention of disease: Highly effective in preventing clinical disease.
3. Aid in disease prevention: Aids in preventing disease by a clinically significant amount.
4. Aid in disease control: Aids in reduction of disease severity, duration or onset.
5. Other claims: Products with beneficial effects other than direct disease control.
The best way to find out what label indication applies to a particular vaccine is to read the label closely. The approved label for a given vaccine helps us understand the expected performance of the product. Most vaccines on the market have the “aid in disease prevention” claim. Rarely, however, will a vaccine satisfy the requirements to receive the more robust “prevention of infection” or “prevention of disease” label indications. Always read the label closely before making a decision about which product best fits the needs of each dairy herd.
Beyond looking for the label claim when choosing a vaccine, Braun recommends getting more information about the vaccine’s duration of immunity (DOI). Vaccines have traditionally been labeled for repeat dosing within 12 months, or administration of a booster within a certain time period without any clear evidence supporting the expectation that the vaccine was actually effective for that given length of time. Today, however, more manufacturers are providing the USDA with challenge data to help support their DOI claim.