Developing a reproductive vaccination program

Wisconsin State Farmer

At the herd level, low pregnancy rates, abortions and calf deaths are some of the real economic losses associated with inadequate fetal protection against reproductive diseases. Protecting the health of the unborn calf is important not only to the vitality of the calf but also the cow’s well-being and future productivity. A healthy productive cowherd can help improve the financial health of a cow/calf operation.

Protecting the health of the unborn calf is important to the vitality of the calf but the cow's well-being and future productivity.

“When we discuss major reproductive diseases in beef cattle, our primary viruses are infectious bovine rhinotracheitis (IBR) and bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) viruses Types 1 and 2,” explained Mark Alley, DVM, veterinarian with Zoetis.

Dr. Alley says it is important for producers and veterinarians to look at the labels to make sure they are selecting vaccines that are effective in protecting against the reproductive forms of these important diseases. This means looking for the following information on the vaccine label:

  • “FP” in the name of the product, which is a designation that the vaccine provides fetal protection
  • Indication to prevent or control IBR-related abortions
  • Indication to prevent or control BVD persistently infected calves
  • Indication to prevent or control BVD fetal infection
  • Fetal Protection Guarantee

“A fetal protection guarantee provides an additional layer of assurance for producers and veterinarians, so they can have more confidence in the protection provided by their vaccine program and have peace of mind that what they’re doing is actually worthwhile,” Dr. Alley said. “Zoetis offers a full portfolio of fetal protection vaccines that are supported by an FP Guarantee because we have the data to back our vaccines and we know how they perform.”

Dr. Alley concluded, “What we’re doing by using fetal protection vaccines is that we are effectively protecting the calf prior to birth. If you couple that with a proper nutritional program, we’re setting that calf up for success in being able to reach its full genetic potential, from the time it’s conceived all the way through the production cycle.”

For more information about fetal protection vaccines from Zoetis, visit with your veterinarian or your local Zoetis representative, or go to