Bluetongue vaccine expected mid-July

A batch of the bluetongue vaccines, Zulvac® 8 Bovis and Zulvac® 8 Ovis, is expected to become available to veterinary practices in mid-July. Manufacturer Zoetis urges interested farmers to speak with their vets “sooner rather than later” to discuss disease risk and help practices get an indication of likely demand.

The company says the quantity of vaccine will not be unlimited and that it will strive to achieve as widespread availability as possible.

The two vaccines (Bovis for cattle and Ovis for sheep) are licensed to “prevent viraemia” caused by bluetongue virus serotype 8 (BTV-8). Prevention of viraemia, the presence of bluetongue virus in the blood, ensures no onward spread of infection via the blood sucking Culicoides midge.

The vaccines can be used in cattle from three months of age, or six weeks in sheep, requiring two doses three weeks apart in either species. Each dose is 2ml administered intramuscularly in cattle or subcutaneously in sheep, and onset of immunity is 25 days after the second dose. The vaccine provides immunity for a full 12 months.