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On This Episode of Mythbusters: mRNA Vaccines in Cattle

Updated: Jun 28, 2023

We’ve been getting this question a lot lately…do we use mRNA vaccines in our cattle?

Quick answer…no. Never.

To learn a little more though, stay with me.

mRNA vaccines have been around for a while, but they first gained approval…and notoriety…during COVID.

We here at Hi Bräu have a pretty staunch stance against wading into politics. We’re good at beef so we’ll just stick with that. We can, however, comment on how we use vaccines on our farm.

We currently use one vaccine in our adult animals (the cattle that are in the Hi Bräu program), and that is what’s known as a "killed vaccine." The viruses you want to protect against are killed and then put into a vaccine. The cow’s immune system makes antibodies against this killed virus, which has zero chance of actually infecting the cow. Should the real virus ever infect the cow, the immune system already knows how to fight it. These killed vaccines were first developed in the late 1800s and were the first vaccines ever used. They are also responsible for preventing things like measles, rubella, and polio.

This vaccine is recommended by our veterinarian and by university research.

But what about mRNA vaccines?

This would be a great opportunity for us to tell a half truth. We could just say that we don’t use mRNA vaccines, thus implying that other farmers might. Since we have a no BS policy, we’re not going to do that. So here’s the whole story:

There are no mRNA vaccines approved for use in cattle. Hypothetically, a farmer could use an mRNA vaccine “off label” on their cattle (for some unknown reason), but even that is extremely unlikely. Your typical farmer doesn’t have some sort of connection to giant pharmaceutical companies where they can procure vaccines for use in cattle. Most do exactly what we do - they go down to the local feed and seed store and buy the vaccines they need. Since our local feed store isn’t exactly known for carrying a wide selection of illegal vaccines, we don’t even know where a motivated farmer would be able to find an mRNA vaccine.

So there you have it. The whole truth is that Hi Bräu Beef doesn’t use mRNA vaccines in our cattle, and neither does anybody else.

If you’re truly concerned about things that could be used in cattle, watch out for antibiotics, growth hormones, and feed additives, none of which we use in our cattle, but are almost certainly in your standard grocery store beef.

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