When to Vaccinate
By Dr Mackie Hobson

Monday, 15th July 2019

 

(Updated September 2020)

 

Angora goat Kid’s First Vaccinations

Most producers are aware the best time to vaccinate their Angora goat ewes is 4-6 weeks before kidding but when can (should) we vaccinate the kids for the 1st time?

 

Young kids will have antibodies that they received in the colostrum (if the mother was vaccinated). These colostrum (maternal) antibodies will block the effectiveness of vaccinations by tying up the protein structures of the vaccine and prevent the kid from producing immunity when vaccinated. The kid antibody levels from the colostrum declines with time.

So the kid needs to be vaccinated at an age that allows a proper immune response (avoiding blocking by the maternal antibodies) but at the same time not leaving the kid vulnerable due to declining antibody levels against specific diseases.

Vaccine manufactures have conducted studies and will have a recommend time from which the kid should be vaccinated depending on whether the mother was vaccinated or not.

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  • It is critical that the kid receives a second vaccination as per directions, usually a month later. Without the second vaccine the first is not effective.
  • Use the same vaccine for both the first and second vaccination, using a different manufacturer for the second vaccination will not be effective. If you change vaccines then a second vaccination will need to be given.

It is important to remember that:

  • Goat kids that are sick, stressed, wormy or poorly nourished will respond poorly to a vaccination program.
  • Never give more than one live vaccine at a time.
  • Always read the vaccine manufacturers guidelines before vaccination
  • Not all vaccines are licenced for goats and are used off label

What should I be vaccinating against?

This depends on the type of farming system and the risks.  Discuss these with your vet. Follow the below link to see the most common vaccines covering the different clostridia and pasteurella strains.

https://www.angoras.co.za/article/clostridium-and-pasteurella-vaccines-update#356

For more info on vaccine handling on the farm and the importance of the ‘cold chain’ follow the link to the website

https://www.angoras.co.za/page/vaccine_handling#114

 

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