Russia announced on Wednesday the approval of the world’s first vaccine against COVID-19 for animals, Carnivac-Cov, touting a 100% effectiveness rate and announcing mass production as early as April.
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“The clinical trials of Carnivac-Cov, started in October of last year (…) allow us to conclude that the vaccine is harmless and highly effective since 100% of the animals tested have developed antibodies”, indicated in a statement the deputy director of the veterinary and phytosanitary agency Rosselkhoznadzor, Konstantin Savenkov.
The animals tested were cats, dogs, red and arctic foxes, and mink. Rosselkhoznadzor specifies that the vaccine is only intended for carnivorous animals.
According to Savenkov, “mass production” of the vaccine will begin in April.
The vaccine was developed by a subsidiary of Rosselkhoznadzor, the Federal Animal Health Center, which is in contact with fur farming companies from several European countries interested in purchasing it.
Contacted by AFP, a network of Moscow veterinary clinics has for its part minimized the current usefulness of the vaccine. “For the moment, no reason has been established to vaccinate cats and dogs because it has not been proven that they were carriers of Covid-19”, declared the network of clinics Belyï Klyk, in a comment sent to AFP.
The Russian Association of Fur Breeders also said on Wednesday that it saw no reason to vaccinate its some 2 million animals, including mink and foxes. Its general manager, Nadejda Zoubkova, assured AFP that no case of coronavirus has been detected so far among her animals.
However, some of them were vaccinated during vaccine trials and are “doing very well,” she said, adding that it was a “good vaccine.”
On Tuesday, military officials from the St. Petersburg (northwest) region announced that animals participating in the WWII commemorations military parade or deployed to the city’s airport would be required to be vaccinated.
Rosselkhoznadzor assures that the development of this vaccine was “particularly important”, several animal species being sensitive to Covid-19. In Russia, according to the agency, two cases of infection in cats have been established so far in Moscow and Tyumen (Siberia).
In November, Denmark decided to eliminate all of its mink herd, because these 15 million animals were suspected of carrying and transmitting a mutation of the coronavirus potentially problematic for humans.
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