bird; poultry; avian; surveillance; vaccines

Poultry production: Why vaccines don’t always protect your chickens

Question: Why do vaccines sometimes not protect chickens?

  • The handling and storage of “live” vaccines is very important.
  • Remember that these vaccines contain live viruses or bacteria.
  • Very specific temperatures must be adhered to when storing vaccines, or they will be damaged.
  • They should not be exposed to direct sunlight or disinfectants, as this can destroy them.
  • For each application, make sure every chicken receives a dose of vaccine.
  • This is important as any chickens not vaccinated will not be immunised, and this will result in their being susceptible to field challenges.
  • Even if they are correctly applied and contain the appropriate antigen to the field pathogens, vaccines do not necessarily provide total protection against disease because there are many variables.
  • The farmer should, therefore, follow the correct procedures when developing and implementing a vaccination programme.

Also read:
The difference between live and inactivated vaccines

Livestock production: How vaccines work against diseases
Poultry production: Handling and administering live vaccines
Livestock production: The difference between antibiotics and vaccines

  • This article was written by Dr. Mick Versfeld and first appeared in Farming SA

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