New calf pneumonia vaccine to protect calves as early as 1 week

A new early life intranasal vaccine will allow UK cattle farmers can now protect dairy and beef calves against the key causes of viral pneumonia from as young as one week of age.

MSD Animal Health’s new Bovilis INtranasal RSP Live reduces the clinical signs of respiratory disease and viral shedding from infection with Bovine Respiratory Syncytial Virus (BRSV) and Parainfluenza-3 Virus (Pi3V).

It’s a first as no other UK-licensed BRD vaccine can be administered earlier in life. The new vaccine also delivers immunity for BRSV just five days after administration and in just seven days for Pi3V. Duration of immunity is 12 weeks for both viruses.

“Early-age protection of calves through intranasal vaccination can help prevent pneumonia and positively impact a calf’s productive future,” said MSD Animal Health ruminant veterinary adviser Dr. Kat Baxter-Smith MRCVS.

“The sooner and faster these young calves can be protected against viral pneumonia and the permanent lung damage it causes, the better their potential lifetime productivity, be it in terms of delivering expected milk yield in the dairy herd or growth performance on the beef unit.

“For example, replacement heifers that do not have pneumonia as calves produce over 500kg more milk in their first lactation.

Beef cattle growth rates can also be compromised following calf pneumonia problems, with animals losing 202g per day as a result of disease-induced lung damage.

“For a beef unit looking to finish cattle at 600kg in 18 months, this could mean a four-month delay in reaching the target market weight.”

About the vaccine

Bovilis INtranasal RSP Live can be used on-farm up to six hours after mixing with the solvent, which is the longest of all the available intranasal vaccines.

Additionally, the new vaccine is supplied as a nasal suspension product that doesn’t need a specific applicator – although for maximum flexibility a new easy-clean injector and nozzle kit is available for farmers needing to vaccinate multiple animals.

Farmers interested in this new early life calf pneumonia vaccine should contact their vet for further information.