6. When giving modified-live vaccines, always use a brand new syringe and needle as any disinfectant will inactivate the vaccine.
7. Check storage temperatures in the refrigerator. As a rule, animal health products that need refrigeration should be kept between 35 to 45 degrees F (2-7 degrees C) at all times. Freezing is very damaging to vaccines as the antigen (vaccine) can actually separate from the adjuvant (vaccine carrier), preventing the vaccine’s ability to stimulate an adequate immune response.
8. Unused mixed modified live vaccines should be discarded one hour after mixing as these are live vaccines and will not survive storage.
9. Expiration dates should be observed closely and all outdated products should be discarded. Killed vaccines should be disposed of within 10 days after opening. Vaccines that change color (loss of pink color, for example) should also be discarded as the color change indicates that the pH of the product has been compromised and the vaccine is no longer effective.
10. Use a thermometer to measure refrigerator temperature. Results of a recent survey of on-farm refrigerators showed that only 27 percent of the refrigerators tested were working properly. Seventy-three percent of 180 refrigerators observed did not store animal-health products at the correct temperature. This seems like a laundry list of some real basic points, but if not followed correctly we can lose the benefit of the animal health products we use or, in some cases, actually cause more harm. Review these principles with the animal health crew on a regular basis to ensure proper technique.