Image with CalfVet Dr. Marissa Hake with headline

Vaccines are SENSITIVE! Take it Easy!

We all know vaccines are an important investment for our herds, and proper vaccine handling is a critical step to insuring our investment is successful. Before we even ask the animal to respond to a vaccine adequately, we must get the mixing, handling and administration steps right.


Modified-live vaccines (MLV’s) contain live material (antigen) that can replicate in the animal and more closely imitate an immune response seen with a true infection. MLV’s vaccines have to be reconstituted and require mixing two vials together; a vial of diluent and a vial with an “antigen cake”. MLV’s are fragile and very sensitive to temperature, light and handling and time.


Tips for MLV handling
• Mix with a clean needle/syringe or transfer needle to avoid contamination
• If using a transfer needle, puncture plastic diluent bottle first then invert and push into glass vial with cake. The glass vial has vacuum and will pull the diluent in.
• Gently swirl or rock to mix, DO NOT SHAKE! Shaking can damage vaccine components.
• Be sure to store in a cooler with ice packs to maintain the correct temperature and keep out of the sunlight.
• Use mixed vaccine quickly! Ideally within 1 hour of mixing.
• Read and follow manufacturers label instructions.

Modified-Live Vaccine Handling Infographic How-To
Infographic Showing Correct Handling for Modified-Live Vaccines (MLV's) Courtesy of CalfVet
Dr. Hake Short Biography and Profile picture for guest post on vaccine handling
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