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Bovine Vaccination Program

Programs for Calves

Initial Spring Vaccination:
Traditionally, the first vaccination of calves occurred at spring branding. Recent research has shown that vaccination with MLV vaccines is effective and safe in calves as young as 1 week of age. (Note: MLV IBR vaccines are not recommended in calves under 7 days of age.) So you now have the option of giving the initial vaccination to calves over a wider range of time to best accommodate your herd management schedule. Spring vaccination provides a dual advantage for protection of diseases such as pneumonia and will also act as a pre-immunization for vaccinations at weaning.

Fall Vaccination Program:
These programs are centred around a MLV vaccine that can be administered by SQ . To minimize injection site lesions and help meet beef quality guidelines, we recommend subcutaneous (SQ) injections in the neck region. Because this is a Modified Live Vaccine, we recommend that if given to calves prior to weaning, the cow herd be vaccinated beforehand for IBR, PI3 and BVD.

Initial Vaccination:
As mentioned spring is the ideal time for the first vaccination. Otherwise, vaccinate 2-6 weeks before weaning or at weaning if this is the only option.

At weaning if the initial vaccination occurred in the spring. Otherwise, give 2-3 weeks after the initial vaccination.

Program 1

The most complete program providing the widest protection as it includes a modified live IBR and BVD type I & II vaccine and a Shipping Fever vaccine. You are able to mix and give one less injection and still go SQ.

Spring Express 5 PHM
+Covexin Plus
IBR, PI3, BVD,BRSV Pasteurella
2ml SQ
2ml SQ


Pyramid 5 FP Presponse
+Covexin Plus

IBR, PI3, BVD,BRSV Pasteurella

2ml SQ
2ml SQ


if no respiratory vaccines given in spring, do the following:

Fall Express 5 PHM IBR, PI3, BVD,BRSV Pasteurella 2ml SQ

Booster 2-4 weeks with:

Fermicon 7/Somnugen


5ml SQ or IM

This is assuming 8 way was given in spring to calves. If not need 6 weeks between the initial 8 way and booster.

Replacement Heifer calves can use Express 5/Somnugen instead of Starvac4 Plus for best protection as future brood cows.

Programs for Cows and Heifers

Reproductive Vaccines

Timing is crucial. You should attempt to have the highest immunity present in your cows before the period of greatest risk. This means ideally vaccinating cows and heifers pre breeding in the spring with MLV vaccines to prevent infections like BVD from causing problems in the fetus during the first half of pregnancy.

A recently released vaccine called Express drives antibody titres against BVD strains to levels not previously seen, hence this is the vaccine we are currently recommending.

The biggest and most recent news regarding pre-breeding vaccinations in cows is that Express 5/Somnugen can now be given to pregnant cows within 4 weeks of calving provided that they have had at least one IBR/PI3/BVD/BRSV vaccination (preferably MLV) previously.

This option should be welcomed by those of you who find vaccinating 3 weeks pre-breeding inconvenient.

Express is the only vaccine that guarantees all calves born in your herd will be free of BVD virus persistent infection (PI), when all cows and heifers have been vaccinated as directed. In fact, to back up its claim, the manufacturer will reimburse you for the fair market value of the calf if it is found to be BVD PI positive. This is a first!

We also discourage Fall vaccination of the cow herd with killed vaccine as research has shown this is not efficacious in protecting the fetus from BVD infection.

Programs for Cows and Heifers

1. Clostridial 8way-4ml SQ or IM
Covexin Plus
-booster heifers as yearlings and cows every 1-3 years

2. Reproductive Vaccines
Express 5/Somnugen -2ml IM
-contains MLV for IBR-PI3-BVD types I & II, BRSV, plus a bacterin for H.Somnus
Initial Give at least 3 weeks prior to breeding. Can give to pregnant cows in last trimester if they have
been previously vaccinated. ie. Can be given when vaccinated for scours.

Vira Shield 6 + Somnus-5ml IM -killed vaccine with IBR-PI3-BVD types I & II, BRSV, plus a bacterin
for H.Somnus that can be given to pregnant cows. Initially needs 2 injections, then a yearly booster.

3. Scour Vaccine
Scourbos 9-2ml IM
-for protection against E.coli, rotavirus and corona virus

Animals that have not been vaccinated the previous year require 2 shots; the initial 3 - 4 months after breeding (eg. In the fall at preg.checking) and a booster within 8-10 weeks before calving. These 2 injections should be done at least 3- 4 weeks apart.

For subsequent years, a single annual booster should be given within 8 - 10 weeks of calving. It is important that the calf receive colostrum as soon as possible after birth.


Reproductive Vaccines
Give the bull the same Express 5/ Somnugen or Virashield treatment as the cow herd.

Fusogard footrot vaccine has proven cost-effective in bulls. It is best to vaccinate prior to pasture turn out (ie. At semen testing).
Initial dose: 2ml SQ
2nd dose: 2ml SQ 3 weeks later (first year)
Annual booster required

Review of Diseases

1. Clostridial Diseases
-cause of sudden death
-e.g. Blackleg, Tetanus

2. Respiratory Diseases
A) IBR (Infectious bovine rhinotracheitis)
-causes trachitic, pneumonia, and eye infections
-may cause abortions

B) BRSV (Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus)
-causes severe pneumonia in young stock and housed cattle

C) BVD (Bovine Viral Diarrhea)
-viral (types I & II)
-may cause pneumonia, chronic diarrhea, birth defects, abortion and persistently infected (PI) calves
that eventually die

D) Hemophilus Somnus (ITEME)
-causes pneumonia, laryngitis, brain abscesses, heart abscesses, joint I infections, reproductive problems
and abortions

E) Pasteurellosis (pasteurella haemolytica)
-causes pneumonia (known as “shipping fever”)

3) Scours (Neonatal Diarrhea)
-there are three major infectious causes of scours in newborn calves
-bacterial scours are caused by E.coli
-viral scours are caused by rota and corona viruses

An important concept in the treatment and prevention of disease, is that only bacteria can be killed by antibiotics, where as antibiotics are ineffective against viruses. Only the body’s immune system can kill a virus. Hence, the aim of vaccination is to provide the animal with an early warning system to fight infection before it makes the animal sick.