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General Principles

Vaccination involves the administration of a specific antigen to stimulate the immune system to
produce homologous antibodies against viral, bacterial, and protozoal diseases. Vaccination
programs should be based on the following considerations:

• Diseases prevalent in the area of operation.

• Risk of exposure.
• Immune status of parent-level stock in relation to maternal antibody transfer.
• Cost of acquisition and administration of vaccines.
• Intensity and consequences of adverse vaccine reaction.
• Flock placement programs.
• Availability of specific vaccines.
• Cost to benefit ratio associated with vaccination taking into account
the risk of infection and financial loses from disease.

Administration of Vaccines

Various methods of administering vaccines are used commercially, including;

• In ovo vaccination at 18 days of incubation using the patented Embrex InovoJect®

system and alternatives.
• Post-hatch spray vaccination, in cabinets for mass-administration of aerosol vaccines to
day old chicks.
• Subcutaneous injection, using a manual or automatic syringe, to administer either live
or inactivated emulsion vaccines to chicks, rearing stock and breeders.
• Intramuscular injection, to administer inactivated aqueous and emulsion vaccines to
replacement pullets or mature stock.
• Wing-web stab to administer live vaccines by the percutaneous route directly to each
• Eye drop and intranasal routes, requiring handling of individual chicks, are applied in
hatcheries and during brooding of chicks.
• Aerosol administration, using a knapsack or electric sprayer to deliver vaccines to
flocks as a coarse spray.
• Drinking water administration can be implemented at low cost but is of limited
effectiveness against some infections.

 It is emphasized that appropriate control over the reconstitution of live vaccines is

required to ensure potency. The actual administration of vaccines should be
monitored by submission of serum specimens to a diagnostic laboratory for titer
assay using ELISA or other acceptable technique.

*where prevalent. No antibiotic should be administered within one week before or after live mutant S.
typhimurium vaccine.
Specific modifications will be required to the program to protect against fowl typhoid, mycoplasmosis and
coryza if prevalent in the area of operation.
AE Avian encephalomyelitis (epidemic tremor) IBD Infectious bursal disease
EDS Egg drop syndrome ILT Infectious laryngotracheitis
ND Newcastle disease ND Newcastle disease