FAQS

What is Startvac®?

Startvac® is a vaccine for cows that contains inactivated (killed) bacteria called Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Startvac® is an emulsion for injection that is available in a 2ml vial and a 10ml bottle.

What is Startvac® used for?

Startvac® is used to strengthen the immunity of whole herds of otherwise healthy dairy cows in herds that are known to have problems due to mastitis (inflammation of the udder due to infection). The strengthened immunity reduces the number of cows affected and the severity of clinical signs. Startvac® is given to all healthy cows in a herd, during and after pregnancy. It is given using preferably the Classic Protocol ( 3 dose) or otherwise the Alternative Protocol (4 dose)

How does Startvac® work?

Startvac® is a vaccine. Vaccines work by ‘teaching’ the immune system (the body’s natural defences) how to defend itself against a disease. Startvac® contains killed forms of two bacteria that normally cause mastitis (Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus). When it is given to a cow, the animal’s immune system recognises the bacteria as ‘foreign’ and makes antibodies against them. In the future, the immune system will be able to make the antibodies more quickly when it is exposed to the bacteria again. The antibodies will help to fight the bacteria, preventing mastitis occurring or reducing the severity of its symptoms. The vaccine also contains an ‘adjuvant’ (liquid paraffin) to stimulate a better response.

How has Startvac® been studied?

The company has carried out a number of studies, including one main study that looked at the effectiveness of Startvac® in dairy cows under field conditions. The study compared cows that were given Startvac® with those that were given placebo (a dummy vaccine) and looked at the number of cows with mastitis, the severity of mastitis symptoms, and milk production.

What benefit has Startvac® shown during the studies? The studies showed that Startvac® reduced the number

of cows with mastitis due to Staphylococcus aureus and related bacteria and it reduced the severity of the symptoms in the cows that had mastitis. Vaccination with Startvac® also led to an increased number of cows being cured of the infection, a reduction in the number of cows that needed treatment for mastitis, and an increase in the quantity and quality of milk production. Startvac® injections did not have any harmful effects on pregnancy or giving birth, or on the cows’ calves.

What is the risk associated with Startvac®?

The vaccine may cause temporary swelling and pain at the site of injection. It may also cause a temporary increase in body temperature.

What are the precautions for the person who gives the medicine or comes into contact with the animal?

Startvac® contains liquid paraffin (a type of mineral oil). Accidental injection or self-injection could cause severe pain and swelling, particularly if the vaccine is injected into a joint or finger. In rare cases, this could result in the loss of the affected finger if prompt medical attention is not given. If you are accidentally injected with this product, seek medical advice promptly, even if only a very small amount is injected, and take the Package Leaflet with you. If pain persists for more than 12 hours after medical examination, seek medical advice again.

What is the time to allow before the animal can be slaughtered and the meat used for human consumption (withdrawal period)?

The withdrawal period is zero days. The animal can be slaughtered for food at any time after injection.

What is the time to allow before milk can be taken from the animal for human consumption?

Milk can be taken at any time after injection.

Why has Startvac® been approved?

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) concluded that the benefits of Startvac® exceed the risks for herd immunisation of healthy cows

25and heifers, in dairy cattle herds with recurring mastitis problems, to reduce the incidence of sub-clinical mastitis and the incidence and severity of the clinical signs of clinical mastitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus, coliforms and coagulase-negative staphylococci, and recommended that Startvac® be given a marketing authorisation.

Does the Somatic Cell Count rise at vaccination?

Startvac® challenges the animal’s immune system, as do all vaccines, therefore causing the SCC to rise slightly for a few days before returning to normal. This rise is only temporary and usually only seen in some animals.

Is there any Side effects affecting the quality of milk resulting from the use of Startvac®?

There are no side effects with fat and protein levels. Milk contents (i.e. fat and protein levels) are not affected in any way by the vaccine. The only adjustment is with respect of the reduction of the Somatic Cell Count.

Is there continuous lowering of SCC?

If the origin is caused by Staph and coliforms bacterial origin the answer is yes, but if the Somatic Cell Count origin is multi-variable (strepto, milking parlour and poor hygiene and milking technique) then the answer may be no. The vaccine is part of an overall measure to reducing SCC and must not be seen as a single resolution to reducing SCC. There is a threshold where the animal is coming to the end of lactation at which stage the SCC can not be further reduced.

How effective is Startvac® against mastitis should there be an infection present? (Not the worst but yes a more frequent one)

The vaccine is best suited where infections are already present on the farm. Hence, if the infection is present on the farm it is likely that all animals have certain exposure to the pathogens, by vaccinating all animals you increase their immunity to these pathogens and decrease their chances of severe infection when they are run down and immunity is depressed at the stressful time of calving and during lactation. Although the initial immunization with the vaccine may cause a short increase in the Somatic Cell Count the long term effects warrant its use.

Should SCC fall below 100 is the cow come at risk from more severe infection?

One of the characteristics of this vaccine is that reduces the SCC but simultaneously reduces also the severity

of other infections caused by Staph and Coliforms. These effects are best seen when the vaccine is used in combination with a proper herd health protocol to reducing both contagious and environmental mastitis treats on the farm.

Is there a residue or taint as with some drugs?

No. As this is a vaccine, there is no residual tainting or necessity to withhold milk, as is the case with antibiotic therapy.

Does the vaccine inhibit yoghurt or cheese cultures?

No, the vaccine only works on the named bacteria creating a stronger immune system to fight the bacteria associated with mastitis, it does not have any effect on bacteria associated with yoghurt and cheese production, rather the contrary, reducing the mastitis pathogens that are unwanted.

If a vaccine date is missed what are the consequences?

As the Classic Protocol has been devised to target the periods when immunity is best suited to its use, a missed vaccine may decrease the duration of the immunity and increase the likelihood of the animals exposure to mastitis, however an adaption may be made to the protocol in response to a missed vaccination, to re adjust the immunity levels of the animal. (See the Alternative Protocol).

What is Startvac®?

Startvac® is a vaccine for cows that contains inactivated (killed) bacteria called Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Startvac® is an emulsion for injection that is available in a 2ml vial and a 10ml bottle.

What is Startvac® used for?

Startvac® is used to strengthen the immunity of whole herds of otherwise healthy dairy cows in herds that are known to have problems due to mastitis (inflammation of the udder due to infection). The strengthened immunity reduces the number of cows affected and the severity of clinical signs. Startvac® is given to all healthy cows in a herd, during and after pregnancy. It is given using preferably the Classic Protocol ( 3 dose) or otherwise the Alternative Protocol (4 dose)

How does Startvac® work?

Startvac® is a vaccine. Vaccines work by ‘teaching’ the immune system (the body’s natural defences) how to defend itself against a disease. Startvac® contains killed forms of two bacteria that normally cause mastitis (Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus). When it is given to a cow, the animal’s immune system recognises the bacteria as ‘foreign’ and makes antibodies against them. In the future, the immune system will be able to make the antibodies more quickly when it is exposed to the bacteria again. The antibodies will help to fight the bacteria, preventing mastitis occurring or reducing the severity of its symptoms. The vaccine also contains an ‘adjuvant’ (liquid paraffin) to stimulate a better response.

How has Startvac® been studied?

The company has carried out a number of studies, including one main study that looked at the effectiveness of Startvac® in dairy cows under field conditions. The study compared cows that were given Startvac® with those that were given placebo (a dummy vaccine) and looked at the number of cows with mastitis, the severity of mastitis symptoms, and milk production.

What benefit has Startvac® shown during the studies?

The studies showed that Startvac® reduced the number of cows with mastitis due to Staphylococcus aureus and related bacteria and it reduced the severity of the symptoms in the cows that had mastitis. Vaccination with Startvac® also led to an increased number of cows being cured of the infection, a reduction in the number of cows that needed treatment for mastitis, and an increase in the quantity and quality of milk production. Startvac® injections did not have any harmful effects on pregnancy or giving birth, or on the cows’ calves.

What is the risk associated with Startvac®?

The vaccine may cause temporary swelling and pain at the site of injection. It may also cause a temporary increase in body temperature.

What are the precautions for the person who gives the medicine or comes into contact with the animal? Startvac® contains liquid paraffin (a type of mineral oil). Accidental injection or self-injection could cause severe pain and swelling, particularly if the vaccine is injected into a joint or finger. In rare cases, this could result in the loss of the affected finger if prompt medical attention is not given. If you are accidentally injected with this product, seek medical advice promptly, even if only a very small amount is injected, and take the Package Leaflet with you. If pain persists for more than 12 hours after medical examination, seek medical advice again.

What is the time to allow before the animal can be slaughtered and the meat used for human consumption (withdrawal period)?

The withdrawal period is zero days. The animal can be slaughtered for food at any time after injection.

What is the time to allow before milk can be taken from the animal for human consumption?

Milk can be taken at any time after injection.

Why has Startvac® been approved?

The Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) concluded that the benefits of Startvac® exceed the risks for herd immunisation of healthy cows 25 and heifers, in dairy cattle herds with recurring mastitis problems, to reduce the incidence of sub-clinical mastitis and the incidence and severity of the clinical signs of clinical mastitis caused by Staphylococcus aureus, coliforms and coagulase-negative staphylococci, and recommended that Startvac® be given a marketing authorisation.

Does the Somatic Cell Count rise at vaccination?

Startvac® challenges the animal’s immune system, as do all vaccines, therefore causing the SCC to rise slightly for a few days before returning to normal. This rise is only temporary and usually only seen in some animals. is there any Side effects affecting the quality of milk resulting from the use of Startvac®? There are no side effects with fat and protein levels. Milk contents (i.e. fat and protein levels) are not affected in any way by the vaccine. The only adjustment is with respect of the reduction of the Somatic Cell Count.

Is there continuous lowering of SCC?

If the origin is caused by Staph and coliforms bacterial origin the answer is yes, but if the Somatic Cell Count origin is multi-variable (strepto, milking parlour and poor hygiene and milking technique) then the answer may be no. The vaccine is part of an overall measure to reducing SCC and must not be seen as a single resolution to reducing SCC. There is a threshold where the animal is coming to the end of lactation at which stage the SCC can not be further reduced.

How effective is Startvac® against mastitis should there be an infection present? (Not the worst but yes a more frequent one)

The vaccine is best suited where infections are already present on the farm. Hence, if the infection is present on the farm it is likely that all animals have certain exposure to the pathogens, by vaccinating all animals you increase their immunity to these pathogens and decrease their chances of severe infection when they are run down and immunity is depressed at the stressful time of calving and during lactation. Although the initial immunization with the vaccine may cause a short increase in the Somatic Cell Count the long term effects warrant its use.

Should SCC fall below 100 is the cow come at risk from more severe infection? One of the characteristics of this vaccine is that reduces the SCC but simultaneously reduces also the severity of other infections caused by Staph and Coliforms. These effects are best seen when the vaccine is used in combination with a proper herd health protocol to reducing both contagious and environmental mastitis treats on the farm.

Is there a residue or taint as with some drugs?

No. As this is a vaccine, there is no residual tainting or necessity to withhold milk, as is the case with antibiotic therapy.

Does the vaccine inhibit yoghurt or cheese cultures?

No, the vaccine only works on the named bacteria creating a stronger immune system to fight the bacteria associated with mastitis, it does not have any effect on bacteria associated with yoghurt and cheese production, rather the contrary, reducing the mastitis pathogens that are unwanted.

If a vaccine date is missed what are the consequences?

As the Classic Protocol has been devised to target the periods when immunity is best suited to its use, a missed vaccine may decrease the duration of the immunity and increase the likelihood of the animals exposure to mastitis, however an adaption may be made to the protocol in response to a missed vaccination, to re adjust the immunity levels of the animal. (See the Alternative Protocol).

Is Startvac® a Prescription Only medicine (POM)?

Yes