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Intervet/Schering-Plough Animal Health IPVS Symposium 2010

Vaccination implementation and compliance in a large production system

Prof. James A. Roth (Iowa State University, USA)


Porcine circovirus Type 2 (PCV2) in growing pigs is associated with severe systemic and respiratory disease leading to high mortality and decreased growth performance. Historically, vaccination for swine diseases has focused more on population immunity. However, the pathogenesis and epidemiology of PCV2 disease makes individual pig immunity important due in part to the ability of the virus to persist in the environment. Accordingly, any ability to measure and monitor compliance to PCV2 vaccination would be valuable for effectively controlling these diseases.


Is defined as “the consistency and accuracy with which a patient follows the regimen prescribed by a physician or health professional.” Compliance has been associated with four key factors: 1) patient’s perceived susceptibility to the disease; 2) patient’s perceived severity of the disease; 3) patient’s belief that the benefits outweigh the costs; and 4) whether the patient receives “cues to action” or reinforcement of the regimen.1 The potential exists for non-compliance in any health or production protocol.2 The most detrimental type of non-compliance is complete neglect of the vaccination protocols where groups of pigs are left susceptible to disease. In most situations, compliance is based on employee adherence to the established protocols. Improving compliance is based on educating employees, monitoring the vaccination process and protocol reinforcement.

PCV2 vaccination protocol-

Piglet vaccination protocols in this production system are based on vaccine efficacy, economic return and compliance. Circumvent® PCV, along with MycoSilencer® ONCE, is used on all farms, enabling sero- compliance monitoring. The first doses are given at weaning (21 days), when the entire farm staff is present. The second doses are given 21 days later, on the same day of the week, when the farm team is already in a “vaccination” mindset. Giving two vaccines requires multiple employees to be present, improving compliance by “witness motivation”. The farm manager is mandated to be involved in the vaccination process, improving compliance by visual supervision and accountability.

Vaccine inventory management-

A monthly report allows systematic monitoring of vaccine inventory, minimizes wastage, improves management of the product and reduces system vaccination cost.

Serological compliance-

The PCV2 Differential ELISA test available at the Iowa State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, Ames, IA, has been shown to be useful tool for compliance monitoring for the PCV2 vaccine used.3 Compliance is monitored monthly by testing 10, ten week-old nursery pigs; < 7 positive samples would trigger the following actions: 1) detailed inventory accounting; 2) farm visit to review protocols; 3) additional serotesting to confirm previous results and to identify other non- or poorly vaccinated, “at risk” groups; and 4) personnel action such as a written warning.

Non-compliance examples-

Monitoring of Farm A found 9/10 and 10/10 negative tests in subsequent months. Vaccine inventory review for the past 3 months discovered only 43% of required vaccine had been purchased. Farm visit revealed unacceptable practices by an employee. Manager was mandated to give all PCV2 vaccinations and subsequent testing returned to acceptable levels. Monitoring of Farm B found 10/10 pigs negative. Inventory report showed no issues. Farm investigation revealed the timing of second vaccination had drifted from 6 wks to 9 wks of age. Initial samples were collected only 2 days after the second dose and thus were negative. Discussion Overall compliance to health and production programs is a major concern in large integrated systems and the ability to measure, monitor and assign accountability to those programs, including vaccination protocols, is of considerable value. Our monitoring program has helped us identify several key areas of vaccine implementation that have improved compliance.


1. Health Belief Model. Encyclopedia of Public Health. Ed. Breslow, L., Cengage, G. 2002
2. Ohlinger, VF., Pesch, S., and Hense, I. Vet Res 31:147-148, 2000.
3. Pittman, JS., Thacker, B., Johnson, J. Proc AASV Ann. Mtg., Dallas, Texas, pp. 207-211, 2009.

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