Russia announced Wednesday it had registered what it said was the world’s first coronavirus vaccine for animals, describing the step as important to disrupting mutations. It said mass production of the vaccine could begin in April.
The development of the shot would help prevent mutations in animals and cited Denmark’s decision to cull 15 million mink last year after some were found to be carrying a mutated virus variant. The agency added that animal-breeding facilities and private companies from countries including Greece, Poland, Austria, the United States, Canada and Singapore had expressed interest in Carnivak-Cov. The World Health Organization has expressed concern over the transmission of the virus between humans and animals. Russia has so far only registered two cases of COVID-19 among animals, both in cats. Some scientists say that cats and dogs do not play a major role in transmitting the coronavirus to humans and that their own symptoms are often mild if they contract COVID-19. Clinical trials of the Russian animal vaccine began in October last year and involved dogs, cats, Arctic foxes, mink, foxes and other animals.