Russia is testing COVID-19 vaccine for pets

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Help may soon be on the way for good boys everywhere.

As states are expanding their COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, the next group included may be our furry family members. 

A coronavirus vaccine for animals has been registered in Russia and could be rolled out to our pets next month, according to Russian News Agency TASS.

Rosselkhoznadzor, the Russian Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, said on March 31 that the drug’s development started last October on dogs, cats, Arctic foxes, minks and other animals as it followed clinical trials. 

The shots may be needed to curb the spread of the virus in animals, scientists have warned.

Research proved that the Carnivak-Cov vaccine was safe and effective in all vaccinated carnivorous animals as they developed antibodies to the virus.

The shot is estimated to be 91.6% effective against symptomatic COVID and 100% effective against severe and moderate COVID cases for “no less than six months.” Mass production could potentially begin as early as April.

There has been interest in the animal vaccine from companies in Greece, Poland, Austria, Singapore, Canada and the United States. 

Alexander Gintsburg, head of the Gamaleya Institute that developed Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine, announced that animals would be the next group to get the vaccine given the proximity of pets to their owners. 

According to the CDC, there has been no scientific evidence that “animals play a significant role in spreading” coronavirus from animals to humans. However, a new report from the World Health Organization has said the virus probably originally spread to people through an animal.

The virus has been recorded in pets such as cats, dogs and one ferret in Slovenia.

Zoo animals have also tested positive for the virus, including big cats such as lions, tigers, pumas, cougars, snow leopards and several gorillas. Recently, gorillas at the San Diego Zoo, including one named “Karen,” received the vaccine.  

Mink farms have also experienced outbreaks of the virus, leading Denmark to put down 17 million minks last May. 

However, the announcement did not specify which animals the drug will work on and Rosselkhoznadzor said they “do not see the need for total vaccination of domestic animals.”

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