The National Office of Animal Health (NOAH) is calling on vet practices to support the #VaccinesWork campaign.

Starting in the New Year, the benefits of vaccination will be communicated to both farmers and pet owners, initially focussing on farm use. 

The aims of the campaign are to raise awareness of how and why vaccines work and the range of diseases they protect against, to review and improve how vaccines are stored and administered, and to encourage better uptake of existing vaccines. 

Further information and tips on storing and using vaccines correctly will be shared, to help ensure that vaccines used will be effective.

NOAH says that research has shown that:

  • Only 53% farmers know the correct temperature for vaccine storage
  • 73% do not have a separate thermometer or data logger
  • Less than 10% check fridge temperatures daily

Dawn Howard, NOAH’s Chief Executive said: “It is encouraging that vaccination of the UK’s calves and sheep against livestock diseases has risen to one of the highest levels in seven years1. This increase is encouraging, however still more needs to be done in relation to uptake, storage and usage. We are asking the vet profession to support the #VaccinesWork campaign by spreading the messages with their clients and engaging on social media."

"We will be providing information for farmers e.g. if vaccines are not stored correctly, it will impact on their potency, meaning they could be less effective – not only will there be the potential for the vaccine to fail to protect animals against disease but also farmers may have wasted their efforts – and may be deterred from vaccinating again."

Whilst correct use by farmers is the initial focus, the campaign will include pets. Dawn said: "The topic of vaccine hesitancy is becoming increasingly important. Recognised by the WHO as one of the top 10 global health threats for people in 2019, this phenomenon is translating to the veterinary sector as well, especially in companion animals. The PDSA reports an ‘alarming’ drop in pet vaccinations: the proportion of pet dogs, cats and rabbits receiving a primary course when young has fallen by 18% over the past 3 years, down to 66%3.”

"This is bad news for the health and welfare of the nation’s pets, who are increasingly at risk of disease, and we need to work to address this."

NOAH is asking practices to support the campaign by sharing messages and materials which will be published on its website (https://www.noah.co.uk/campaigns/vaccineswork) and on social media, @UKNOAH

References

  1. https://ahdb.org.uk/knowledge-library/use-of-vaccines-in-cattle-and-sheep-2018-sales-update

  2. https://www.noah.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/NOAH-Vision-Paper-8pp-A4-Sep-19-vf.pdf

  3. https://www.pdsa.org.uk/media/7420/2019-paw-report_downloadable.pdf 


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