Bovine practitioners publish vaccine guidance

Published: 14 Jan 2022


A guidance document from the American Association of Bovine Practitioners can help veterinarians decide when and how to administer vaccines.

The document includes details on how to stay safe while administering vaccines, identify and report any adverse events in the animals, and understand vaccine labels. Dr. Justin Kieffer, chair of the Vaccine Guidelines subcommittee of the AABP Committee on Pharmaceuticals and Biologics, said in an announcement the guidelines would give AABP members a foundational document for vaccine administration in cattle.

“We felt it was critical to outline answers to vaccine-related questions frequently asked by bovine practitioners in a readily available format, based upon the available science,” he said in the announcement. “It was also important to point out the gaps in knowledge on vaccine issues and to list references for the material we included.”

A veterinarian administers an intranasal vaccine (Courtesy of AABP)

Some other veterinary organizations also provide guidance on vaccinating animals. The American Animal Hospital Association, for example, provides species-specific vaccination guidelines for dogs and, with the American Association of Feline Practitioners, gives guidance for vaccinations in cats. The American Association of Equine Practitioners provides guidelines for products intended for use in horses.

The AVMA also has a policy that outlines basic vaccination principles that apply across animal species.

The 32-page document published in November by the AABP states that it was produced with a combination of insights from peer-reviewed literature and expertise from veterinarians and scientists in industry, government, and private practice. It details the advantages and disadvantages for categories of vaccines—such as modified-live vaccines and autogenous vaccines—as well as specific disease indications for vaccines administered to cattle.

The document describes how to store, transport, handle, and administer vaccines, as well as gives details on the injury risks for people administering vaccines. The authors included recommendations that veterinarians teach their clients about vaccines and encourage realistic expectations.

Vaccines are one aspect of disease prevention, and they alone cannot prevent infectious disease, the document states.

“Management strategies that can minimize pathogen exposure and enhance innate immune function are as important as any vaccination protocol,” the document states. “Disease prevention strategies should be customized for each cattle operation since challenges and management options will vary from one farm to the next.”

The AABP Vaccination Guidelines are available at the AABP website, although only to members. Read the AVMA policy “Vaccination Principles.”


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