Protect Calves With The Highest Level of BVD PI Prevention Available

NEW YORK (June 17, 2008) – Cattle producers can use the first and only vaccine available that prevents persistently infected (PI) calves caused by bovine viral diarrhea (BVD) virus Types 1 and 2, and offers 365 days of protection – Bovi-Shield GOLD® FP®. The USDA recently upgraded the label claim for Bovi-Shield GOLD FP to the “prevention of persistently infected calves caused by BVD Types 1 and 2,” which is the highest label claim the USDA has assigned to a BVD-containing vaccine.

The cost of BVD to beef and dairy producers with PI calves ranges from $15 to $31 per cow.1,2 Although more than 50 percent of the PI calves usually do not survive past 12 months of age, some survive to reproductive maturity and appear completely normal.3 These PI calves shed the BVD virus in large amounts throughout their lives, infecting other animals that come into contact with them. This is especially critical in breeding herds where PI animals, especially calves, spread the virus to susceptible females, potentially resulting in the birth of more PI calves the next year.

“Knowing the level of protection of a reproductive vaccine is important in managing the risk of disease in your herd,” says Dale Grotelueschen, DVM, managing veterinarian with Pfizer Animal Health. “Preventing the birth of PI calves is a key component of BVD control.”

A PI calf results from BVD virus exposure in utero about 40 to 120 days into gestation. During this critical exposure period, infection can occur before the calf’s immune system is sufficiently developed to initiate a protective response. Therefore, BVD is not recognized as an infecting virus. As the immune system matures, it perceives the virus as part of the calf itself and will not develop an effective immune response against it.

“Preventing PI during this critical exposure period requires a vaccine with sufficient duration of immunity (DOI),” says Grotelueschen, “which is the time period immunity stimulated by the vaccine is effective against a specific disease.”

To compare the duration of immunity of five-way viral vaccines, visit Here you can use the calculator to determine if your vaccine is protecting your herd during the time of critical exposure for BVD persistent infection.

“I often hear that vaccines are all the same and that it doesn’t matter which one is used,” Grotelueschen adds. “Well-tested products like Bovi-Shield GOLD FP have clear advantages over other BVD vaccines that don’t have supporting research for reproductive protection claims.”


Know Your Vaccine’s Level of Protection

The decision about which type of label claim a vaccine will be granted is based on an evaluation by the Center for Veterinary Biologics, which is part of the Animal and Plant Inspections Service at the USDA. After evaluating vaccine efficacy data, the USDA assigns each product a level of protection based on how the vaccine is expected to perform. The five possible USDA label claims are:4

1. Prevention of infection – the highest granted by USDA, it can only be made if a product can prevent all colonization or replication of the challenge organism in vaccinated and challenged animals.

2. Prevention of disease – intended for products that are highly effective in preventing clinical disease in vaccinated and challenged animals.

3. Aids in disease prevention – the most common label claim for vaccines on the market today. The product has shown that it prevents disease in vaccinated and challenged animals by a clinically significant amount that may be less than that required to support a “prevention of disease” claim.

4. Aids in disease control – the product aids in the reduction of disease severity or duration, or delays onset.

5. Other claims – these products have beneficial effects other than direct disease control, such as the control of infection through the reduction of shedding of the organism.

According to USDA label indication guidelines, all vaccines must include the level of protection information on the label. Look for it the next time you buy a vaccine, and talk to your veterinarian to determine which vaccine is right for your operation.

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE), the world’s largest research-based pharmaceutical company, is a world leader in discovering and developing innovative animal vaccines and prescription medicines. Pfizer Animal Health is dedicated to improving the safety, quality and productivity of the world’s food supply by enhancing the health of livestock and poultry; and in helping companion animals live longer and healthier lives. For additional information on Pfizer’s portfolio of animal products, visit


LABEL INDICATIONS: The Bovi-Shield GOLD line and PregGuard® GOLD FP 10 are recommended for vaccination of healthy cows and heifers approximately 1 month prior to breeding. These products can also be administered to pregnant cattle provided they were vaccinated, according to label directions, with any Bovi-Shield FP or PregGuard FP vaccine prior to breeding initially and within 12 months thereafter. Failure to follow label directions may result in abortions. The Bovi-Shield GOLD line may be administered to calves nursing pregnant cows, provided their dams were vaccinated within the last 12 months as described above. Consistent with good vaccination practices, heifers should receive at least 2 vaccine doses, with the second dose administered approximately 30 days pre-breeding.

1 Larson RL, Pierce VL, Grotelueschen DM, Wittum TE. Economic evaluation of beef cowherd screening for cattle persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea virus. Bov Pract 2002;36(2):106-112.

2 Chi J, VanLeeuwen JA, Weersink A, Keefe GP. Direct production losses and treatment costs from bovine viral diarrhea virus, bovine leukosis virus, Mycobacterium avium subspecies paraturberculosis and Neospora caninum. Prev Vet Med 2002;55(2):137-153.

3 Duffell SJ, Harkness JW. Bovine virus diarrhoea-mucosal disease infection in cattle. Vet Rec. 1985 Sep 7;117(10):240-245.

4 Veterinary Services Memorandum No. 800.82, June 14, 2002.

Bovi-Shield, Bovi-Shield GOLD, FP and PregGuard are registered trademarks of Pfizer Inc. ©2008 Pfizer Inc. All rights reserved. BSD08016

Pfizer Inc. . 150 East 42nd Street . New York, NY 10017

212-733-2323 .

For further information, contact:

Jennie Schutte

Pfizer Animal Health


[email protected]

Kenna Rathai



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