A new license for Bovilis® Rotavec® Corona means broached vials of the UK calf scour vaccine will be able to be used for up to 28 days after first opening of the immediate packaging.

MSD Animal Health says this will mean greater usage flexibility for UK cattle producers focusing on immunity-led prevention of infectious calf scours. Bovilis® Rotavec® Corona is used for the active immunisation of pregnant cows and heifers, 12-three weeks pre-calving, to raise antibodies against rotavirus, coronavirus and E. coli F5 (K99).

Calves gain protection by drinking the fortified colostrum from their vaccinated mothers.

“On the old license, this vaccine needed to be used within eight hours of opening, so this will be a significant benefit-led change for suckler beef and dairy producers,” said MSD Animal Health ruminant veterinary adviser Dr Kat Baxter-Smith.

“For all-year-round calving dairy herds, for example – that may want to vaccinate successive pregnant dams on different days – it will make an opened bottle of vaccine last much longer.

"Those running batch calving herds with a long calving period should also benefit. We hope this will help reduce unnecessary wastage of the vaccine on farm and save farmers money,” she added.

It will still be crucial to store the vaccine properly – upright and refrigerated (at 2-8°C) before and after broaching, and after first use.

A broached vial will be able to be used once more during the next 28 days after the first vaccination event and then discarded. Vaccination equipment such as needles and syringes should be sterilised.

Use of a multi-dose syringe to minimise vaccine contamination and excessive broaching is recommended.