Vaccinations are an important part of maintaining a healthy herd as they help prevent common diseases amongst livestock. The improved health and welfare of a vaccinated herd can also result in increased productivity.

Vaccinations recommended for North Queensland livestock include:

  • 5 in 1 – for the prevention of major life threatening clostridial diseases that commonly occur in cattle such as tetanus, black leg, enterotoxaemia (pulpy kidney disease), black disease and malignant oedema. (info from Zoetis site)

  • 7 in 1 – for the prevention clostridial diseases (as per 5 in 1) with added protection against common types of leptospirosis (which affect cattle and can also be transmitted to people) (Info from zoetis site)

  • Botulism

Whenever possible, cattle should be vaccinated well before any suspected period of risk. Vaccinating well before the ration is introduced is recommended.

Various effective botulism vaccines are available. Some newer vaccines require only a single shot (rather than the traditional 2 shots a month apart). Both the 1-shot and 2-shot vaccines produce a similar end result, and the decision on which type of vaccine to use depends largely on product cost and convenience.

All vaccines require boosters to maintain protective levels of immunity. Consult with your vet on the timing of booster vaccinations.

  • 3 day sickness/ Bovine ephemeral fever (BEF)

There is a modified live vaccine for BEF that provides long-lasting protection. A 2-part vaccine - freeze-dried vaccine with chilled liquid adjuvant - that must be mixed prior to administering, it provides good levels of protection against BEF. While some cattle might still develop mild disease after vaccination, the severity and duration of illness tends to be much lower than in unvaccinated cattle.

The initial vaccine should be administered twice, 2–4 weeks apart, under the skin of the neck for long-lasting protection. To ensure that animals are fully immune before insect populations have the opportunity to breed, you should vaccinate before spring, especially in northern Australia.

An annual booster should be given 8–10 weeks before the BEF season.

Contact your veterinarian for advice on a vaccination program and use of the vaccine.

  • Pestigard – for prevention of Pestivirus  (info from Zoetis)

Pestigard is registered in Australia to prevent pestivirus. There are no other registered vaccines. Two doses of Pestigard should be administered 4-6 weeks apart with annual boosters thereafter. However, the 2nd dose must be administered 2-4 weeks prior to joining. The first dose of Pestigard may be given up to 6 months before the second dose to suit management practices. Immunity does not develop until at least 14 days after the second dose. Pestigard is safe for pregnant cows. 

  • Vibrovax – for the prevention of Vibriosis (info from Zoetis)

Vibromax is registered in Australia to prevent vibriosis in cattle. There are no other registered vaccines.

  • Prevents shedding of vibriosis to safeguard your heifers and cows reproductive potential

  • Can be used to vaccinate bulls, heifers and older cows.

  • Bulls can be vaccinated prior to mating, with two 5 mL doses a minimum of 4 weeks apart.

  • Heifers can be vaccinated after 18 months of age with a single 5 mL dose (2 doses are required if the program begins before this time)

An annual booster dose of 2 mL, or the convenience of a 5 mL dose every two years, will provide ongoing immunity against vibriosis.