Improving the Response to Vaccination
In order to get an optimal response to vaccination- especially with dead vaccines- other components are added to the antigen to increase the immune system. These substances are known as adjuvants, are more or less irritant to the body tissue, so that quite often a lump will appear at the site of the inoculation. With some vaccines, the reaction will be hardly noticeable, but with others, a large- unsightly swelling will develop which may be painful.
In years past, all sorts of strange substances were used as adjustments, such as Tapioca, starch, or even bread crumbs. Today, substances such as aluminum hydroxide or light-mineral oils are used, but only reasonably, they are far from satisfaction. A new generation of adjuvants which stimulate a strong immunity, but don’t provoke a reaction at the vaccination site are urgently required. It should be known that a lump at the inoculation site doesn’t mean the vaccine has not been effective, but rather the reverse. Oily adjuvants in particular will cause a nasty reaction in humans if vaccine is accidentally inoculated into or scratched onto the skin, and medical attention should be sought immediately.
Live vaccines, depending upon the micro organisms multiplying in the tissues, when the vaccine is introduced into the skin via a deliberate scratch made by a special applicator dipped in the vaccine, it is essential that the virus is not killed through the use of spirits, disinfectants, dips or pour ons; otherwise the vaccine will not ‘take’.
It is very important to always read the vaccine manufacturer’s instructions and to follow them strictly. Needles and syringes should be changed as instructed and empty vaccine containers disposed of safely. Never vaccinate sheep in bad weather, or when they are sick, wet, or dirty. Sick animals should be marked so that they can be done when they have fully recovered. Never mix vaccines or administer another vaccine or any other treatment at the same time, unless manufacturer or your Veterinarian advises that it is safe to do so. Particular care and caution should be taken in the case of pregnant ewes.
*Importantly: always wear gloves for human protection while administering and handling vaccines and keep vaccines stored in proper placement via temperature storage (refrigeration, room temperature, etc.)