Russia registers ‘world’s first’ COVID-19 vaccine for animals

MOSCOW (AFP) – Russia announced yesterday 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 agriculture oversight agency Rosselkhoznadzor said in a statement that the vaccine called Carnivak-Cov had been tested beginning October on dogs, cats, mink, foxes and other animals and was proven to be effective. “All test animals that were vaccinated developed antibodies to coronavirus in 100 per cent of cases,” said Deputy Head Konstantin Savenkov of Rosselkhoznadzor.

“It is the world’s first and only product for preventing COVID-19 in animals,” he said.

Rosselkhoznadzor said the development of its 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 use of the vaccine, according to Russian scientists, can prevent the development of virus mutations,” the statement said.

The agency added that animal-breeding facilities and private companies from countries including Greece, Poland, Austria, the United States (US), Canada and Singapore had expressed interest in Carnivak-Cov.

Russia said mass production of the vaccine for animals could begin in April. PHOTO: AFP