Abstract Vaccination plays a significant role in the control of bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) infection and spread. Recent studies revealed that type 1b is the predominant BVDV type 1 subgenotype, representing more than 75% of field isolates of BVDV-1. However, nearly all current, commercially available BVDV type 1 vaccines contain BVDV-1a strains. Previous studies have indicated that anti-BVDV sera, induced by BVDV-1a viruses, show less neutralization activity to BVDV-1b isolates than type 1a. Therefore, it is critically important to evaluate BVDV-1a vaccines in their ability to prevent BVDV-1b infection in calves. In current studies, calves were vaccinated subcutaneously, intradermally or intranasally with a single dose of a multivalent, modified-live viral vaccine containing a BVDV-1a strain, and were challenged with differing BVDV-1b strains to determine the efficacy and duration of immunity of the vaccine against these heterologous virus strains. Vaccinated calves, in all administration routes, were protected from respiratory disease caused by the BVDV-1b viruses, as indicated by significantly fewer clinical signs, lower rectal temperatures, reduced viral shedding and greater white blood cell counts than non-vaccinated control animals. The BVDV-1a vaccine elicited efficacious protection in calves against each BVDV-1b challenge strain, with a duration of immunity of at least 6 months.