Vaccination is not a ‘silver bullet’ for disease control but it can be an important part of an infection prevention and control of disease planning process, which all farms should have in place in consultation with their vet.
This #VaccinesWork campaign explores the role vaccines can play in helping to protect health and welfare in all farm animal sectors, and in supporting reductions, replacements or refinements in antibiotic use.
In particular, it highlights the differences in vaccine penetration between farm animal sectors, highlighting where there may be scope for greater uptake, as well as the gains to be made from storing, handling and administering vaccines correctly.
The poultry and fish sectors have successfully used vaccines for a number of years within comprehensive and integrated health programmes. With considerable achievements in antibiotic stewardship under their belts, it’s hoped other sectors will take inspiration from this.
In the sheep and cattle sectors, uptake of vaccines is generally low, so the campaign asks farmers and prescribers to consider whether there is scope to increase levels of vaccination to improve herd or flock immunity – and potentially profitability – on their farms.
Vaccination is already much higher in pigs but improving how vaccines are stored, handled and administered could boost results significantly.
More than 50 vaccines are currently available for both cattle and pigs to treat a wide range of bacterial, viral and protozoal diseases, and almost 30 for sheep.