“In the past, there was generally little information to verify that the vaccine actually protected cows for 12 months,” Braun explained. “We’re now starting to see claims reading ‘12 month duration of immunity has been demonstrated’ rather than just ‘revaccinate annually.’ As veterinarians and producers build their young stock risk management strategies and incorporate those strategies into maintaining herd immunity in the mature population, having assurance the vaccine is providing protective immunity for at least the stated DOI is reassuring.”
Ask for challenge trial data
In addition to USDA label claims and the DOI data, ask manufacturers for challenge trial data. “These challenge trials help us understand what we can expect in real life from a vaccine,” Braun said. “I would encourage producers and veterinarians to ask for challenge trial information from the manufacturers. Ask for everything that is out there. It is helpful in making decisions on what products will be most useful.”
Develop a vaccination protocol that builds the herd immunity you are looking to achieve. Tactical implementation of the vaccination protocol needs to consider many factors; age, housing, grouping and stage of gestation are all critical to the success of building herd immunity and make it clear why using the teamwork approach is so important to achieve the desired outcome. “Herd immunity comes from implementing a well-thought-out plan, not just sticking the calves or cows with a needle and a vaccine,” according to Braun.
Braun recommends veterinarians and producers review their herd immunity strategy, vaccination protocol and the label claims on any products they are currently using to be sure they are protecting their herds from diseases of concern.
For more information on duration of immunity.