Build your farm’s own personalised vaccination calendar

MSD Animal Health has launched a vaccination calendar to remind farmers of key vaccination dates on their farms.

The innovative web-based tool enables farmers to develop a vaccination plan in conjunction with their vet. Fresh after picking up two awards at this year’s National Dairy Show, the tool will feature at the MSD Animal Health stand at this year’s Winter Fair.

And with increasing numbers of farmers moving towards multiple disease prevention protocols, this new online tool will simplify routine vaccination.

This will lead to healthier, more productive animals and more sustainable production systems.

Along with being free, another key draw of the vaccination calendar is the reminder service that is provided to farmers.

A text message is sent to the farmer seven days before each vaccine booster is due. Where an email address is given in the contact details, a reminder email is also sent.

The full calendar is also emailed to the user. This can be printed off and used as a reminder of the critical vaccination dates.

Build Your Own Calendar

How the calendar works

The calendar allows farmers, whether they are sheep, beef or dairy, to keep track of key vaccination dates on their farms.

Step 1: Choose your enterprise

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Step 1: Choose your farm enterprise

Step 2: Identify the animals that require vaccination

The next step in completing the vaccination calendar is to identify the animals that require vaccinations.

On beef farms, farmers can choose either cows, calves, weanlings or replacement heifers, while dairy farmers can choose to design a calendar for cows, calves or replacement heifers.

The livestock options available on sheep farms include ewes, lambs, hoggets and rams.

Step 2: The options available for dairy farmers
Step 2: The options available for dairy farmers

Step 3: Choose the calving season

Both beef and dairy farmers are asked to enter the calving seasons on their farm when completing the cost-free vaccination calendar.

Options available:

  • Spring calving
  • Autumn calving
  • All-year round calving

Farmers are also asked to enter the start of calving date, this will ensure that farmers are given a timely reminder to vaccination their cows.

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Farmers are asked to enter calving season details

Step 4: Enter breeding season data

To ensure that the calendar is functional, farmers and vets are also required to enter details on the breeding start date.

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Step 5: Diseases protected against through a vaccination programme

To complete the vaccination calendar, farmers are required to enter details of the diseases they intend on vaccinating for.

When this information is submitted, a vaccination calendar is generated to remind farmers of the correct time to vaccinate their animals.

An example of the vaccination calendar generated for a spring calving dairy herd
An example of the vaccination calendar generated for a spring calving dairy herd

Nearly 3,000 farmers sign up for the reminder service

The state-of-the-art online product, which is cost-free for the user, was developed by Dr William Minchin, Ruminants Marketing Manager, and Sharon Magnier, Veterinary Advisor with MSD Animal Health.

Use of vaccines to prevent disease has increased more than three-fold over the past decade and MSD Animal Health is the largest supplier of preventative vaccines on the Irish market.

Dr Minchin said that MSD Animal Health believes the new facility will be of great assistance to vets in ensuring the most effective and compliant disease prevent strategies.

“Many farmers forget to boost with vaccines or use products at inappropriate times for their production system.

“This web-based tool will ensure they have a consistent reminder of the critical dates for vaccinating against a broad range of cattle and sheep diseases,” he said.

Nearly 3,000 farmers have already signed up to the reminder service.

“We envisage a strong uptake in the months ahead by Northern Ireland dairy farmers and we look forward to welcoming local farmers and vets who are keen to find out more to our stand at the Winter Fair,” he said.

Click here to try out the free vaccination calendar
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