Vaccination: benefits and pitfalls – Westpoint Farm Vets

6 Oct 2018

Animal health and welfare is a growing focus with active encouragement for improvement through disease control and potential eradication. Vaccination protocols alongside biosecurity remain a vital way of controlling and eventually eradicating viral disease on farms. In turn they improve animal welfare and efficiency of production by reducing incidence of disease or reducing clinical signs.

Vaccinations can also help reduce our dependence on antibiotics since prevention is better than cure! Vaccination leads to increased immunity against disease causing pathogens reducing the need for antimicrobial use – an important step to reducing the amount of antimicrobials used and therefore the potential resistance within the agricultural sector.

Many different types of vaccines exist and there is no ‘one procedure fits all’. Different types of vaccines will stimulate different immune responses and duration of immunity; live vaccines contain the virus in its truest form and can cause a mild transient clinical infection so although its use in pregnant animals is routine on some farms, it is important to be aware of this risk when administering vaccine to this group of animals, unless the data sheet states it is safe. However the immune response generated by live and live attenuated vaccines is stronger and longer lasting than vaccines with inactivated virus DNA; although both vaccine types will promote an adequate immune response if administered to an individual capable of doing so.


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