Cattle Veterinarians Have New Vaccination Guidelines

The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) recently released a first-of-its-kind document on cattle vaccine guidelines.
The American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) recently released a first-of-its-kind document on cattle vaccine guidelines.
(Taylor Leach)

Veterinarians who serve U.S. dairy and beef producers have a new, comprehensive information tool to assist them in developing vaccination protocols for their clients, thanks to the efforts of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP).

The AABP Committee on Pharmaceutical and Biological Issues (CPBI) recently released a first-of-its-kind Cattle Vaccination Guidelines document to its members. The vaccine guidelines are the result of a thorough, two-year effort to consolidate cattle vaccine recommendations and information into one comprehensive document.

Dr. Justin Kieffer of Ohio State University chaired the seven-person committee of veterinary practitioners and researchers who developed the document, which also was reviewed and edited by other industry experts before its publication. The final document was approved by the AABP board of directors in September 2021.

On a recent edition of AABP’s monthly podcast, “Have You Herd?”, Kieffer said the committee prioritized a format that would be easy for veterinary practitioners to utilize, while thorough in nature and supported by research-based evidence.

The contents are organized by disease pathogen, with a listing of all vaccines available to address each one. Vaccine categories are explained, and adverse reactions – and how to best manage them – also are addressed.

Kieffer said the committee felt it was important to define a set of core diseases for which virtually all cattle should be vaccinated. Their list included IBR, BVD, PI3, BRSV, and most clostridiums except for Clostridium haemolyticum and Clostridium tetani. For lactating dairy cattle, they also included vaccination against E. coli mastitis with a rough mutant (J5) vaccine.

Additionally, the committee defined a list of “risk-based” disease pathogens that should be considered for vaccination, depending on a herd’s geography, management, and disease pressures. Kieffer said examples include Brucella, Salmonella, K99 E. coli, and Clostridium tetani.

“There are a wide variety of beef and dairy operations that are served by AABP members, with an even wider range of environmental, genetic, nutritional, and management differences, which makes outlining a standard vaccine protocol impossible” said Kieffer. “We hope these guidelines can provide practitioners with the base knowledge to construct protocols customized to bovine client needs across the production spectrum.”

AABP Executive Director Fred Gingrich called the document “a one-stop shop for everything you need to know about vaccinating cattle,” and said AABP members can access the guidelines by logging onto the AABP website and clicking through: “Committees – Committee Resource Files – Pharmaceuticals and Biologics – Vaccination Guidelines.”

Gingrich noted the Vaccination Guidelines publication is a living document that will be reviewed and updated periodically, as new disease information and vaccine technology becomes available.


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