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Alternative Clostridial Vaccines

14 March 2022

There have been lots of supply issues over the last two years and some medicines have been affected. You may have struggled to get hold of the products you usually use, or not been able to buy them in the most convenient quantities. Sometimes alternatives are available, and if you haven’t been able to buy the popular clostridial vaccine, Heptavac-P this year, there are a few other clostridial vaccines on the market. As ever, your clinical vet will be able to advise what specific product would work best on your farm, depending on disease history and risk factors, but these are some products that might be appropriate:

VaccineDiseases coveredPros/Cons
Heptavac-P PlusPulpy kidney, struck, braxy, tetanus, blackleg, some types of clostridial metritis, lamb dysentery. Also pasteurellosisIncludes components relevant to young lambs like lamb dysentery, and pasteurellosis coverage
Ovivac-P PlusPulpy kidney, braxy, tetanus and blackleg. Also pasteurellosisNo cover against lamb dysentery
Ovipast PlusPasteurellosis onlyNo clostridial components
LambivacPulpy kidney, struck, tetanus, lamb dysenteryNo cover against pasteurellosis
Covexin 8Pulpy kidney, lamb dysentery, struck, blackleg, braxy, tetanus, some types of clostridial metritisNo cover against pasteurellosis
Covexin 10Pulpy kidney, lamb dysentery, struck, blackleg, braxy, tetanus, all types of clostridial metritis, yellow lamb diseaseNo cover against pasteurellosis
Bravoxin 10Pulpy kidney, lamb dysentery, struck, blackleg, braxy, tetanus, all types of clostridial metritis, yellow lamb diseaseNo cover against pasteurellosis

All clostridial vaccines initially require two injections several weeks apart as the primary course. Although it is recommended to stick with the same vaccine product, if this is not possible then toxoid vaccines are still likely to have acceptable cross-over action if they contain the same components. A single injection of a vaccine containing a component not seen by the animal before will not produce a lasting immunity.

Using two vaccines at once is not generally recommended by the manufacturers, but may be needed on some units where cover against pasteurellosis and multiple clostridial components is needed, for example using Ovipast Plus and Lambivac together. Speak to your vet if you think this might be required. As ever, handling of pregnant ewes should be minimised wherever possible, although it is often a balance between risk factors.

Passive immunity achieved by lambs through colostrum generally only lasts a few weeks. This varies between two and twelve weeks depending on vaccine and component. Giving lambs their own clostridial/pasteurella vaccine is important as this will help protect them as maternal immunity wanes. The ideal timing of this vaccination will also vary depending on the vaccine used and guidance is given on the datasheet in all cases. If Heptavac-P is not available for administering to lambs, another product such as Ovivac-P should provide good coverage against the main disease risks in this age of animal. If these lambs are later used as replacements, a full primary course of Heptavac-P (or another product) would then be required to ensure full immunity to all the components in this vaccine.

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