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Vaccines-Their use, handling and care

T.R. Thedford



All livestock producers use vaccines at one time or another in the day-to-day operation of their farms.

If these products are not properly handled, little or no immunity will result from the use of the product. In addition to being costly, the false sense of security gained by the producer could result in severe losses before the actual cause of the disease
is discovered.

Vaccines are used to produce immunity to livestock diseases. The immunity that is produced will vary in its protective ability due to the type of vaccine used, organism (bacteria or virus) the immunity is to protect against, and the degree of challenge the animal receives from the virulent (infecting) organism. Stress and environmental conditions as well as handling of the vaccine and equipment used for the process, will affect the production and duration of immunity in the animal.

The article first discusses the types of immunity such as passive and active immunity. The first is a short-lived immunity lasting from two weeks to six or seven months and is derived from the colostrums to the newborn in the first 24 hours of life.

Active immunity is a longer-lived immunity lasting from six months to one year or longer. In some instances activity immunity will last a lifetime. This type of immunity is developed in animals that have actually had and recovered from a disease or from inoculating them with a vaccine derived from the disease organism.

The article then discusses the vaccines present in various forms and seeks to explain their differences while giving definitions, listing various examples along the way.

Examples are Modified live virus-vaccines, Inactivated viruses and Antisera or antitoxins.

The later part of the article has an extensive section on the care and handling of vaccines. The article stresses it is important for buyers to know how the vaccines have been handled after they leave the plant until they are injected into the animal.

The article lists how the vaccines should be transported and stored. Some simple precautions include making sure the vaccines are not expired and making sure it is not directly exposed to the sun. Other precautions include sterilization and inoculation procedures.



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Article made possible through the contribution of the Oklahoma State University, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.

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