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Adult herd health protocols

Vaccines stimulate the production of protective antibodies that fight against disease


Vaccination For Your Herd

Vaccines stimulate the production of protective antibodies that fight against disease. In most cases, single doses of vaccine do not confer immediate protection against disease. The exception is where vaccines are formulated as one dose products, such as Longrange® or Vibrovax® in heifers older than 18 months.

Why vaccinate at the recommended time?


This dose is given 12 months after the last to boost protective immunity for the next 12-month period. It is important not to miss this dose in steers and heifers as they may fall out of your ‘normal’ vaccination timing. Annual vaccinations in heifers, cows and bulls are recommended at specific times depending on the animal and the vaccine.


This annual booster is to protect the unborn and, through colostrum, protect the calf for a period after birth. Protection from colostrum wears off in the first 2-3 months of life.

Why Vaccinate

This graph is schematic representation to demonstrate the principles of vaccination. Actual levels of antibody following vaccination will vary from vaccine to vaccine and animal to animal.


The timing of this annual booster is to protect the cow from infection during pregnancy. This is particularly important for Pestigard® to minimise the production of persistently infected animals. For bulls, this ensures immunity to reproductive disease is at optimal levels prior to exposure to females and minimises transmission of reproductive disease during joining.

Cattle Best Practice Vaccination and Drenching Instructional Videos

Vaccination techniques

Vaccinations are given by subcutaneous injection.

Injections should be given in the area outlined by the triangle in Figure 1.

Vaccination techniques

  • The vaccine is injected under the skin and not into the muscle
  • Lift a fold of loose skin with your free hand, inject at the base of the ‘tented’ skin ensuring that the needle does not pass straight through the fold of skin
  • Care is required to ensure that the hand holding the skin fold is placed to avoid accidental self-injection (Figure 2)
  • It is possible to vaccinate animals without raising the skin fold to reduce the risk of self-injection
  • Care with needle placement is required to ensure vaccine goes under the skin (Figure 3)
  • Place the needle at about 45° angle to the skin
  • Have the bevelled edge (flat open edge) of the needle parallel to the skin. Ensure the vaccine is placed under the skin, not into the top layer of muscle.

Vaccination tips

Avoid vaccinating cattle when wet or in dusty yards

Vaccinate high on the neck, near the base of the ear if possible to avoid carcass damage
Avoid vaccinating through soiled skin. If required, clean skin with a paper towel

Replace needles regularly so they remain clean and sharp.

Cattle 5ml Selectable SafeShot Vaccinator Instructional Video

Adult vaccination protocol

Age/time At dry off* 6-8 weeks pre-joining*
Ultravac Scourshield
Dectomax pour-on^
Ultravac Botulinum/Longrange See separate section in Disease Prevention for Cows
*See heifer vaccination protocol in Robust Heifers for previously unvaccinated animals
^Drenching should occur as needed based on worm egg counts

Zoetis Adverse Events (Sheep-Cattle)

Further Reading

A Better Way To Buy