Guidance for good vaccination practice at scanning

Ultrasound scanning of in-lamb ewes is one of the most useful (and cost effective) management tools for sheep farmers & it is that time of year again - for best results, scanning should take place between 60 and 90 days in lamb.

As well as the obvious benefits scanning brings – identifying singles, twins, triplets etc. (and the barren ewes) for accurate feed management – it is also a good time, prior to lambing for some vaccinations to be administered.

The following information is a reminder of best practice around the right equipment, good hygiene methods, and also guidance on good vaccination practices.

Transport & Storage

Vaccines must be transported & stored between 2°C - 8°C to protect the vaccine.

We've got the transport of your vaccines covered with our Cold Chain Guarantee (specialist Woolcool packaging plus timed delivery). 

Once your delivery arrives any vaccines ordered should be stored in a functioning fridge between 2°C - 8°C and protected from freezing. 

Fridge Check Tips

  1. Monitor your maximum and minimum farm fridge temperature daily
  2. Check your farm fridge’s seal by placing a torch inside and closing the door. If
    light shines through the seal is faulty
  3. Avoid using your farm fridge for other items so it isn’t opened as frequently,
    causing temperature fluctuations
  4. When picking a farm fridge avoid a fridge with freezer compartments
  5. Have a separate power supply for your farm fridge
  6. Ensure there is space around your fridge to allow air to circulate around it
  7. Place a bottle of water marked ‘do not drink’ in your farm fridge to help stabilise
    the temperature
  8. Don’t put vaccines at the back of the fridge where ice can form
  9. If your fridge temperature drops below zero call your supplier immediately
  10. If you are unsure of how to store a particular vaccine speak to your vet for more


Subcutaneous vaccinations are best given in the neck.

  • On the side of the neck, choose an area in the middle, pick up a fold of skin, and inject into the space underneath the fold, so you are injecting into the space under the skin and not into the muscle or any of the associated structures.
  • Be careful to avoid the bones of the cervical spine.

Intramuscular vaccinations are also best given into the neck

  • Insert the needle at 90 degrees into the neck, about 50mm behind and below the ear – taking care to avoid the bones of the cervical spine.

The use of an automatic vaccinator is recommended with the Sterimatic system which disinfects the needle between doses. The full Sterimatic range including vaccinator packs, refills and starter packs is available online.

Sterimatic System

General Principles

  • Always seek advice on the correct use of medicines from the medicine prescriber.
  • Vaccines have specific timing requirements: read the datasheet for details.
  • Unless stated otherwise, the shelf life after first opening the immediate packaging for most vaccines is 8 hours.

21st December 2020

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