Colostral vaccines are an important tool for managing calf scours caused by Rotavirus, Coronavirus and E. coli. These vaccines are given to cows and heifers prior to calving and the antibodies the cows produce are concentrated into their colostrum. The calf still needs to be fed this first-milking colostrum soon after birth so that the antibodies it contains have the best chance of crossing into the calf’s blood stream.
We’ve recently become aware that there is a shortage of the colostral vaccine Rotavec Corona. So, we thought we’d answer questions you might have about whether you can swap to using Scourshield instead.
Do they work on the same bugs?
Both vaccines are designed to protect against the common causes of calf scours, Rotavirus, E. coli and Coronavirus. Neither vaccine protects against the other common causes of calf scours, Cryptosporidium and Salmonella. Rotavec Corona also provides protection against two types of Clostridia. However, we don’t find Clostridia to be a significant cause of scouring in calves in the district, so for most farms swapping products will not be an issue. If you are concerned that Clostridia is a cause of calf scours on your farm, please talk with one of our veterinarians.
Are they given the same way?
While Rotavec Corona is given under the skin, Scourshield can be given under the skin or in the muscle. It has been formulated to reduce tissue reactivity.
Is the dosing the same?
Both products are a 2ml dose, however the recommended timing of injections are different. For an initial vaccine course:
- Scourshield: 2 doses given 3 to 9 weeks apart, with the second dose 2 to 6 weeks prior to calving
- Rotavec Corona: 2 doses 4 to 6 weeks apart, with the second dose 4 to 6 weeks prior to calving
For annual booster doses:
- Scourshield: 1 dose 2 to 6 weeks prior to calving
- Rotavec Corona: 1 dose 4 to 6 weeks prior to calving
I used Rotavec Corona last year, but what about the annual booster shots for my herd this year? Is there any issue with changing products?
The manufacturers of Scourshield, Zoetis, have conducted a study and showed that there are very similar results when cattle are boosted with Scourshield after the initial vaccine course with either Scourshield or Rotavec Corona. So the one booster shot will be fine.
I’ve just started using colostral vaccines and have already given the first dose of Rotavec Corona, but do I need to give two doses of Scourshield?
Similarly, Zoetis advise that if someone is switching from Rotavec to Scourshield during the initial course of vaccinations, only the one dose is needed after a priming vaccination.
Do I have to use it all up quickly?
While opened bottles of Rotavec Corona should be used up within 12 hours, for Scourshield the vaccine can be used for 9 weeks after opening, provided it is handled hygienically, stored at 2 to 8˚C and protected from light.
We stock Scourshield at all our clinics. If you have any questions about these products or about colostrum management in general, please call our farm services team on 1800 838 700.