Getting the Best from Vaccines

With housing on the horizon, it's time to think about vaccinations. From ensuring the cold chain for your vaccines during delivery, storage once you have received the delivery, and best practice for administration of the vaccines, here is how you can ensure you will get the best from your vaccines.

In this article from, you'll find out more about our Cold Chain Guarantee as well as information from MSD regarding storage, when to vaccinate and how to ensure you vaccinate correctly.

Vaccines contain proteins known as antigens. The antigen in a vaccine stimulates white blood cells in the body to produce antibodies against a specific disease.  When a vaccinated animal comes into contact with the actual disease-causing microbe, the immune system remembers the antibodies it made when it was exposed to the vaccine and makes those antibodies faster in order to fight off the disease.

Vaccination helps to prevent disease, and therefore some of negative consequences associated with disease.   Vaccination can help with reduced growth rates, abortion, low fertility, reduced milk yield, poorer colostrum, requirement to cull, poor animal welfare and economic loss associated with infectious disease.

Correct vaccine use is important to gain the most benefit. See below for our top tips for vaccinating effectively:

Vaccinate at the right time 

  • Vaccines do not work immediately; vaccinate before the expected infection pressure 
  • Check the pack insert for administration details. Some vaccines can be given in combination with another vaccine, others must be given separately
  • If relevant, check if the vaccine is licensed for use in pregnancy
  • Avoid vaccinating unhealthy animals or at times of stress. At these times the immune system is compromised, may not respond as well, and the vaccine will not be as effective

Vaccinate the right amount, in the right place, to the right animals

  • Give the volume of vaccine stated on the pack insert. Smaller volumes will not protect your animals. If using a multi-dose gun calibrate it carefully 
  • Administer the vaccine in the right place; check the pack insert to see if it should be subcutaneous or intramuscular. Ask your vet for help or training if you are unsure 
  • Quarantine and vaccinate replacement stock before introducing them to the main herd to ensure they are protected to the same level as the rest of the herd   
  • Keep vaccination records for all stock. This also acts as a handy reminder for boosters
  • Check the minimum age which can be found on the pack insert

Vaccine storage

  • Vaccines should be kept refrigerated at 2-8°C and protected from freezing. If vaccines are not stored correctly the proteins can be damaged and they will be ineffective. 
  • Measure the temperature of your fridge to make sure it is working correctly. 
  • Transport your vaccines at 2-8ºC using a cool box or similar, try to get them into the fridge quickly

Vaccination equipment 

  • Make sure needles and animals are clean and dry to minimise abscesses or infection
  • Clean multi-dose syringes and equipment as indicated. Do not use strong disinfectants on vaccinator guns intended to be used for live vaccines as the disinfectant residue can destroy the live constituents
  • Always use the correct type of needle –talk to your vet if you are unsure

Cold Chain Guarantee

At Farmacy we guarantee that your vaccines are kept within between +2°C and +8°C temperature range during delivery by using Woolcool® rigid thermal packaging which consistently outperforms conventional insulated packaging on every level and maintains the temperature range for up to 72 hours (3 days).

Woolcool® is made from sheep's wool, sourced through British Wool (formerly British Wool Marketing Board) which has unique natural insulation properties for maintaining stable temperatures incredibly effectively. Wool is simply washed, scoured and felted to create entirely natural, fleecy insulation which is sealed within recyclable food-grade wrap. The Woolcool® insulation is used to line recyclable cardboard delivery boxes to keep chilled contents cool. 

Independent trials consistently show that Woolcool® insulated packaging maintains pharmaceuticals at their required temperature for longer than conventional materials used by other online veterinary medicine suppliers.

We pack the fridge orders last thing each day, so they remain in the fridge until the last possible moment and use a 12-noon delivery service. If however the delivery is delayed you can be assured that the packaging will keep the products within the correct temperature for at least 72 hours even if the ice is melted since it is the insulation that maintains the temperature not the ice.

3rd October 2022

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