A vaccine in a vet's hand© FLPA/imageBROKER/REX/Shutterstock

Farmers are not storing vaccines at the correct temperature inside fridges, research has found.

Vaccines should be stored between 2-8C, with 5C being the optimum temperature. Below or above this range can destroy the vaccine.

MSD Animal Health surveyed 1,800 UK beef, sheep and dairy farmers up to 31 January 2018 to find out how they stored vaccines.

See also: Vaccines ‘effective at cutting sheep abortion cases’

Results showed:

  • Only half (53%) of farmers interviewed knew the correct temperature for vaccine storage
  • 73% did not have a thermometer or data logger to record fridge temperature
  • Less than 10% checked fridge temperatures daily
  • Only one-third used a cooler bag to transport vaccines.
  • 7% still used vaccines that had been frozen.

Revealing the results at the Dairy-Tech event on Wednesday (7 February) Paul Williams, MSD Animal Health UK technical manager for ruminants, said farmers invested a lot of money in vaccines and therefore it was critical they were stored properly to ensure they were effective.

To raise awareness and promote best practice the firm used the Dairy-Tech event to launch its Fridge Check campaign, including  giving away fridge temperature checkers at the show.