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Russia registers world’s first COVID-19 vaccine for animals

MOSCOW – Russia on Wednesday claimed to have registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for animals.

“Clinical trials of the vaccine, Carnivak-Cov, began in October and included dogs, cats, foxes, Arctic foxes, minks and other animals,” said Konstantin Savenkov, the deputy head of the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance.

“Carnivak-Cov, a sorbate inactivated vaccine against the coronavirus infection for carnivorous animals, developed by Rosselkhoznadzor’s Federal Center for Animal Health, has been registered in Russia. So far, it is the world’s first and only product for preventing COVID-19 in animals,” Konstantin Savenkov said.

The vaccine is estimated to last at least six months and can “prevent further mutations of the virus. The outcome of the research gives us grounds to conclude that the vaccine is safe and has strong immunogenic effect, because all vaccinated animals developed antibodies to novel coronavirus in 100%” Savenkov further added.

It is reported that the vaccine will likely go into mass production as soon as April, and multiple domestic animal-breeding enterprises and commercial firms in Greece, Poland and Austria plan to buy it.

Russian scientists are continuing their research in order to determine how long the vaccine’s effects last in the animals.

The World Health Organization states that while COVID-19 is believed to have likely originated in a bat, there is no evidence that animals play “a significant role” in spreading COVID-19 to people. However, the organization also says that the virus “can spread from people to animals in some situations, especially during close contact,” but the risk is “considered to be low.”

Cats, dogs, big cats, gorillas, mink and few other mammals can become infected with the virus and there have been reports of animals contracting COVID-19 worldwide, according to WHO. Most of the animals had contact with virus-positive people.

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