News Archive

12 June 2017

Merck Animal Health Encourages Farmers to Learn More About Benefits of Vaccinating Herds

Time to Vaccinate Program Features Farmers Talking to Farmers

MADISON, N.J, June 12, 2017 – Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the USA and Canada) today announced the European launch of Time to Vaccinate, a new program designed to help farmers better appreciate the benefits of vaccinating their cattle. Vaccinations, as part of an overall prevention program, can greatly contribute to the reduction in severity and frequency of infectious diseases, including the need for some medicines, like antibiotics, to treat infections.

“We are excited to introduce Time to Vaccinate, an initiative focused on connecting farmers who want to learn more about a preventive approach to managing their herds with farmers who utilize a vaccination protocol on their farms,” said Klaas Okkinga, marketing director, Global Ruminants Biologicals. “Keeping animals healthy is at the core of everything we do at Merck Animal Health, and making peer-to-peer connections plays a vital role in learning.”

Despite information showing the benefits of vaccination as part of a preventative plan, farmers often wait to vaccinate until clinical disease occurs. The goal of the Time to Vaccinate initiative is to shift farmers’ focus from making animals healthy to keeping them healthy.

Increasing the vaccination rate and therefore the immunity against pathogens calves and adult cattle are generally exposed to, allows improved productivity, general health and animal wellness.

“Vaccines are indispensable tools to prevent potentially dangerous infectious diseases, maintain animal welfare, and optimize production,” explains Dr. Catharina Berge, of Berge Veterinary Consulting, BVBA. ”Today, only about 20 percent of farmers in Europe vaccinate for some of the most common diseases identified on farms. If more did so, we would see an industry that could reach impressive production goals, with strong return on investment and possibly the elimination of diseases.”  

The program, which features farmers providing their stories about how they manage disease, will roll out in countries throughout the year. Testimonials, trainings and real time connections will provide a new way of thinking for many farmers, while giving them a chance to learn from peers who understand exactly what it takes to keep herds productive.

To learn more about Time to Vaccinate, ask your Merck Animal Health representative or visit

About Merck Animal Health
For more than a century, Merck, a leading global biopharmaceutical company, has been inventing for life, bringing forward medicines and vaccines for many of the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to the Science of Healthier Animals™, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest range of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit or connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter at @MerckAH.

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