Russia has reportedly registered the world’s first vaccine against COVID-19 for animals, the country’s agriculture safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor declared on Wednesday.
Russia already has three coronavirus vaccines for humans, the most well-known of which is Sputnik V, named after Sputnik, the world’s first satellite launched by the Soviet Union.
Moscow has also given emergency approval to two other Russian-made vaccines – EpiVacCorona and CoviVac.
The vaccine for animals, formulated by a unit of Rosselkhoznadzor, was named Carnivac-Cov, the watchdog said.
“The clinical trials of Carnivac-Cov, which commenced last October, involved dogs, cats, Arctic foxes, minks, foxes, and other animals,” said Rosselkhoznadzor’s Deputy Head Konstantin Savenkov.
The shot is expected to help stave off the spread of virus modifications and mass production could begin as early as April.
The vaccine may help impede COVID-19 mutations from developing in animals.
“The outcomes of the trials enable us to infer that the vaccine is innocuous and highly immunogenic as all the vaccinated animals formulated antibodies to the coronavirus in 100 percent of cases.”
Immunity lasts for six months after vaccination, but the shot’s developers are proceeding to assess this, the watchdog said.
Mass production of the vaccine could initiate as early as April, Rosselkhoznadzor added.
Rosselkhoznadzor said the development of its shot would help prevent mutations in animals and cited Denmark’s decision to gather 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 watchdog said.
It added that animal-breeding facilities and private companies from countries including Greece, Poland, Austria, the United States, Canada, and Singapore had expressed interest in Carnivac-Cov.
Military officials in Russia’s second city Saint Petersburg announced earlier this week that army dogs would undergo compulsory vaccination before being deployed at airports and participating in nationwide World War II remembrances in May.