Russia has produced a batch of the world’s first Covid-19 vaccine for animals,the country’s agriculture regulator announced Friday, which could help preventdangerous mutations emerging, protect vulnerable animals and support animal-driven industries, such as mink fur farming, that have been crippled by thepandemic.

17,000 doses of the Carnivac-Cov vaccine have been produced at Russia’sFederal Center for Animal Health, the agriculture regulator said Friday.

The initial batch will be distributed across several Russian regions, it said,with companies from countries including Germany, Poland, Kazakhstan, Thailandand South Korea having expressed interest in purchasing future doses.

Key Background

While a vaccine for animals may not seem like a priority in the midst of apandemic where many humans do not have access to them, safeguarding animalpopulations is an important aspect of long-term disease control. The virusresponsible for Covid-19 is, experts believe, highly likely to have spilledover into humans from animals, which has happened with many major diseasesincluding influenza (flu), Ebola and HIV. Humans are also capable of spreadingthe disease to animals—including pets, like cats and dogs, and agriculturalanimals, like mink—where dangerous mutations can possibly develop and spreadback into humans.

Surprising Fact

The U.K., which monitors cases of Covid-19 in some animals, reported twoinstances of cats seeming to have caught the virus from their owners. One, afour-month-old kitten, died after developing breathing difficulties. Whilethere is no evidence that domestic animals can transmit the virus to humans,scientists warned of the need to monitor transmission in case they can act asa “viral reservoir.”

Source:Robert Hart Forbes

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