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The information below is presented by on behalf of CEVA SANTE AMINALE.
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Vaccine Equipment - Administration: from CEVA SANTE ANIMALE

The term "vaccination" covers a serie of measures taken to maximise the protective effects of the vaccines in the field. Vaccination efficacy & safety depend on 3 fundamental factors :
  • the vaccine used
  • the vaccination scheme chosen
  • how well the vaccine is administered.
Only a good combination of these 3 factors will ensure to obtain the best protection level. Therefore, vaccine administration is a key aspect which must be carefully considered by the health managers and the farmers.

Herebelow, a number of important recommendation regarding the various ways to administered vaccines.

Eye-drop Method

Fill the vaccine vial with diluent till the total volume to dissolve the lyophilised virus. Pour and dilute the virus suspension into the remaining diluent contained in the plastic bottle with the dropper. Sterile needle and syringe should be used for this preparation.

30 ml of diluent should be used to administer 1,000 doses.

Hold the bird to be vaccinated with the head tilted to one side.
Hold the plastic bottle with the dropper tip down, gently press the sides, dropping one drop of vaccine onto the eye of the bird. Be sure the vaccine spreads over the eye before releasing the bird.

Spray Method

Fill the vaccine vial with sterile distilled water till 1/2 of the total volume to dissolve the lyophilised vaccine. Pour and dilute the vaccine suspension into the remaining distilled water. Sterile needle and syringe should be used for this preparation.
It is preferable to use a sprayer working under constant pressure, specifically dedicated for that purpose (a semi automatic cabinet sprayer in the hatchery, or a hand sprayer in the farm). Use the right nozzle size (as prescribed by the sprayer manufacturer) and tune the pressure to produce a coarse spray (droplet size: around 120 microns).

In the hatchery, the apparatus needs a source of compressed air. Classically, a minimumvolume of 15 ml per crate is recommended. The requested amount of vaccine solution is automatically sprayed onto the chicks when the crate is placed in the cabinet. An extra water volume of 50 – 100 ml may be added to the total volume to have a safety margin.

In the farm, vaccinate during the coolest time of the day. Delivery rate varies from 0.2 to 0.3 litre / 1,000 day-old chicks in a box, from 0.5 to 1 litre / 1,000 birds on litter.
The volume may change according to the environment conditions.
Switch off the heaters and shut down the ventilation.
Gather the birds on the ground or in boxes. Dim the lighting and spray 20 - 30 cm above the birds.
Return to spray a second time.
Leave the birds quiet for at least 15 minutes after vaccination.
Switch on ventilation and heaters.
The birds should be slightly wet after vaccination.

For spray vaccination no spray machine emitting small droplets of less than 30 ìm size must be used because the aerosol inhaled into the lower regions (bronchioli) of the respiratory system may cause respiratory postvaccination reactions.

Drinking Water Method

Do not use a disinfectant in the drinking water for a period of 48 hours prior to and 24 hours after vaccination. When a chlorine pump is used, switch it off for the same period of time. The waterers should be thoroughly cleaned before vaccination. No disinfectant shall be used. Close the water distribution system, raise and empty the nipple lines or empty the waterers. Water withholding period varies according to age of birds and climatic conditions (average 1h 30min.).

Prepare only the amount of vaccine to be used immediately. Use only plastic material and tools to prepare and administer vaccine.

Prepare the required volume of water that will be consumed by the birds in 2 hours. This volume may change according to the climatic and environmental conditions.

Age 3 - 4 weeks: 40 litres From 10 weeks: Min. amount of water for 1000 birds 25 to 30 litres

As an aid in preserving the virus activity, neutralise the chlorine with 2.5 g of skimmed milk powder per litre of water or 15 mg of sodium thiosulfate per litre of water. Do not use water containing high concentrations of metal ions.

Mix the vaccine with clean, cool, non-chlorinated water by opening the vials under the water and let stand for 10 minutes.

Open the water system when the colour of the water changes (blue dye), lower the lines and check distribution throughout the house. When the tank is empty : fill it with a solution of skimmed milk powder, let it stand for 10 min., then open the water system to flush out the remaining vaccine solution in the pipeworks.

Vaccine solution can be distributed also manually by workers using plastic watering cans.

Injection to adult birds

• Subcutaneous injections

are given into the base of the neck. This zone offers the advantage of being one of the cleanest areas on the birds. After elongating the bird's neck, the operator raises the skin slightly by pulling on the plumage and perforates the skin in this raised zone. Care must be taken not to pierce the skin twice which would result in the vaccine being injected outside the bird.

• Intramuscular injections

are given into the thigh or the muscle around of the sternum. The needle is inserted perpendicular to the skin into the fleshiest area away from the bones (sternum or femur). The piston is then depressed to deliver the dose of vaccine.

Should the operator accidentally prick him/herself, it is essential to :
1. Clean the pricked zone thoroughly with water and soap (antiseptic or not).
2. Consult a doctor or a health centre as soon as possible
3. Inform the doctor that the vaccine used had an oily adjuvant and show him/her the product's packaging so that s/he knows exactly what the product is. All operators should be vaccinated against tetanus.

Injection in hatchery

1. The In Ovo vaccination

Site of Injection is a critical point to promote effective immune response.There are 5 basic compartments on an egg during the final stage of incubation: Air Cell, Allantoic sac (waste), Amniotic sac, Embryo proper, Yolk sac.

From the 5 basic compartments, only the amniotic fluid and/or the embryo proper have the ability to promote positive immune response:. The vaccine must be delivered deep enough inside the egg to reach the amniotic sac (amniotic fluid and embryo).

• In the initial stage of the In Ovo Injection window (closer to 18 days of incubation), most of the eggs will be injected in the amniotic fluid. When the vaccine is delivered in the amniotic fluid, the substance will be swallowed by the embryo prior to hatch.

• With later injections (around 19 days of incubation), and as the embryo is more mature and starts internal and external pipping processes, a bigger percentage of embryos will receive injection in the body (expected to happen in the right breast). Injection in the embryo body is normal and acceptable, however excessive depth penetration can result in embryo damage.

Some advantages expected from In Ovo vaccination:
  • healthier birds
  • reduced chick stress
  • precise, uniform injection
  • reduced labor costs
  • needle Sanitation

2. Sub cutaneous injection

Automatic and semi-automatic injection devices are used for the application of poultry vaccines to day old birds. They allow :
  • to deliver an adequate dose of an active vaccine to the proper site in each bird
  • to stimulate a full immune response for each administered vaccine
  • each bird to be properly injected with a full dose of vaccine

The injection devices allow subcutaneous (SC) injections in the neck and in particular cases intramuscular (IM) injections in the leg of the bird. According to the vaccine type, they can process injections with specific volumes between 0.1 ml and 0.5 ml.

Some rules that must be observed when injecting birds:
  • sterility must be stricter than spray vaccination:

    - hands cleaned and disinfected (better than using gloves)
    - use of hat and mask
    - tubes and needles new or cleaned and sterilized (121° - 10 min)
    - employees must have free access to water, soap and good quality towel paper for frequent hand cleaning

  • vaccine bottle must be gently shaken regularly
  • the injection work must be done at a reasonable speed
  • evaluation of injection accuracy must be done frequently

Product indications, usage instructions & withdrawal periods may vary by Country.
Always follow label instructions and consult your veteriarian or poultry health adviser.

This page contains information on veterinary pharmaceutical and biological products that are sold in several different countries and areas where they may be marketed under different trade names and pursuant to different regulatory approvals. Accordingly, ThePoultrySite and CEVA SANTE ANIMALE give no guarantee that the details presented are correct with respect to all locations.

Advertisments and/or reference to commercial products or trade names within information provided by does not constitute an endorsement by and does not imply discrimination against any other similar products. This information is aimed at veterinary surgeons, veterinary nurses, pharmacists or professional keepers of poultry.

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