What is it about the respiratory system, that it is so vulnerable to disease? I remember as a child getting whooping cough and spending hours and hours in the bathroom with the shower running, in order to generate steam, and my parents patting me on the back. Well, respiratory disease is also rampant in cattle. In fact, bovine respiratory disease is the top health and economic issue facing the beef industry today. Dr. Stephen Foulke, professional services veterinarian at Boehringer Ingelheim, says early vaccination can help because early vaccinations protect calves when colostrum fades from the calf before its immune system is ready to protect it. “During this transition period, we need to worry about what we can do to help that calf along. Some vaccines and some different delivery systems will allow us to vaccinate during this early phase. So if we can take advantage of that we can get these vaccines earlier in life before their immune system can fully kick in, we can help protect them through this transition phase. If we wait, all the way out to weaning in order to vaccinate, remember it is going to take a little time for that vaccine to kick in. We need that vaccine in earlier so it can already be on board and helping protect once those antibodies drop.” Early vaccines can also reduce stress and enhance bovine respiratory disease protection. To keep calves healthy.