From the information previously provided in this package, the approach to vaccination for most beef producers should be relatively straightforward. It is a matter of assessing the likely occurrence of a disease, and in most cases, if a disease is likely to occur (even occasionally) then vaccination will be worthwhile.

The higher the rainfall, the more common disease problems occur (botulism and tetanus may be exceptions).

It is also important to understand when to vaccinate.

Calf marking

Calves should receive a 5-in-1 or 7-in-1 vaccination and pink eye vaccination should be considered. Booster 5-in-1 or 7-in-1 shots should ideally be given 4–6 weeks later, and certainly at weaning if not done before.

Heifers prior to joining

Heifers should receive their second dose of Pestigard® if bovine viral diarrhoea virus control is required, and this needs to be at least two weeks prior to joining. A booster dose with either 7-in-1 or Leptoshield® should be given if effective lepto vaccination is required.

For heifers and cows (assuming they have already been vaccinated as calves), a pre-calving 5-in-1 or 7-in-1 booster vaccination and a calf scours vaccine should be considered. Remember, the pre-calving vaccination has to occur at least two weeks prior to calving to give time for antibody production and incorporation in the colostrum, but it can be given well before that and still give effective colostral levels.

Depending on the timing, booster administration when cows are yarded at weaning or pregnancy testing is likely to be an efficient method of booster vaccination, depending on when that occurs in relation to calving.


Bulls should receive their initial two doses of the vibriosis vaccine prior to first use. Annual boosters of 5-in-1 or 7-in-1 and vibriosis vaccine should be administered.

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