Russia unveils world’s first coronavirus vaccine for dogs, cats and other animals

31.3.2021, Robyn Dixon and Miriam Berger
Original article: Russia unveils world's first coronavirus vaccine for dogs, cats and other animals

Russia has registered the world's first coronavirus vaccine for dogs, cats, minks, foxes and other animals, the local agricultural supervisory authority said on Wednesday.

The vaccine, called Carnivak-Cov, was developed by scientists from the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, also known as Rosselkhoznadzor, the Russian agency Tass News reported.

Since many scientists claim that the virus that caused Covid-19 originally jumped from the bat to humans, or even through another intermediary, infections in animals, from zoos to mink farms, have been reported around the world.

It remains unclear how easily the virus can be transmitted between animals and humans. However, after repeated infections among minks on farms in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe, millions of fur animals were killed as a precaution to prevent possible transmission. The researchers were particularly concerned about possible mutated variants of the virus developed in minks and other animals that could infect humans.

Russia has already conditionally approved three coronavirus vaccines for human use. Rosselkhoznadzor's deputy head, Konstantin Savenkov, said on Wednesday that it would be the first approved vaccine in the world for a wide range of animal vaccinations.

The vaccine could be mass-produced in April, although the agency did not say when it would be available on the market. It will be produced by the Russian Federal Center for Animal Health, which is the largest producer of veterinary products in Russia.

"Carnivak-Cov, a sorbate-inactivated coronavirus infection vaccine," is the first and only product in the world to prevent Covid-19 in animals, "Savenkov told Tass News.

Two U.S. companies, a New Jersey-based veterinary pharmaceutical company, Zoetis and Medgene Labs of South Dakota, are also developing coronavirus vaccines for use in minks and other animals.

Russian researchers launched clinical trials in October 2020, and tested the vaccine on dogs, cats, minks and foxes, as well as polar foxes, among other animals. According to Savenko, mass production of the vaccine could begin in April 2021.

"The results of the research give us reason to believe that the vaccine is safe and has a strong immunogenic effect," said Savenkov.

The vaccine is expected to develop antibody resistance that will last for at least six months.

Savenkov told Tass News that "domestic breeders and trading companies from Greece, Poland and Austria" are planning to buy the vaccine, while companies from the United States, Canada and Singapore have also shown interest in it.

The Russian coronavirus vaccine for human use has not yet been approved in either the United States or Europe.

Earlier this year, Zoetis was given a trial trial of nine infected apes at the San Diego Zoo, who have recovered ever since.

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