Russia has registered the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for dogs, cats,minks, foxes and other animals, the country’s agriculture safety watchdog saidWednesday.

Called Carnivak-Cov, the vaccine was developed by scientists at the FederalService for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, also known asRosselkhoznadzor, Russia’s Tass News Agency said.

While many scientists say the virus causing covid-19 initially jumped frombats to humans, perhaps through another intermediary, infections have sincebeen reported worldwide in animals, from zoos to mink farms.

It remains unclear how easily the virus can move between animals and humans.But after repeated outbreaks among minks at farms in Denmark and elsewhere inEurope, millions of the furry animals were killed precautionarily to cut anyfurther transmission. Scientists have been particularly worried about mutatedvariants of the virus developing in minks and other animals going on to infecthumans.

Russia has already approved three coronavirus vaccines for use in humans on anemergency basis. Rosselkhoznadzor deputy head Konstantin Savenkov saidWednesday that this would be the world’s first authorized for widespreadanimal inoculations.

The vaccine could be mass produced as soon as April, although the agency didnot say when it would be on the market.

“Carnivak-Cov, a sorbate inactivated vaccine against the coronavirus infection… is the world’s first and only product for preventing covid-19 in animals,”Savenkov told Tass News.

Two U.S. companies, New Jersey-based veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetisand the South Dakota-based Medgene Labs, have also been developing coronavirusvaccines for use among minks and other animals.

Scientists in Russia launched clinical trials in October and tested thevaccine on dogs, cats, foxes, including Arctic foxes, and minks, among otheranimals. Mass production of the vaccine could begin in April, according toSavenkov.

“The outcome of the research gives us grounds to conclude that the vaccine issafe and has strong immunogenic effect,” Savenkov said.

The vaccine is expected to produce antibody resistance that lasts at least sixmonths.

Savenkov told Tass News that “domestic animal-breeding enterprises andcommercial firms from Greece, Poland and Austria” are planning to purchase thevaccine, while companies from the United States, Canada and Singapore, amongothers, have expressed interest in it.

Russia’s coronavirus vaccine for humans have so far not been approved for usein the United States or Europe.

Earlier this year Zoetis’s vaccine was administered on a trial-basis to nineinfected apes at a San Diego zoo. They have since recovered.

Source: Washington Post

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