Does My Pet Need a COVID-19 Vaccine?
The pandemic is a reminder of how important it is to keep your family healthy and safe. That includes your beloved pets. If you’re like many families, you’re scheduling vaccination appointments for your family members. But what about your dog and cat? Will your veterinarian eventually have access to a COVID-19 vaccine for pets?
Because your pets are members of your family, you want them to be just as healthy and safe as you are. Sadly, during the urgent ongoing vaccination effort, a COVID-19 vaccine for pets has had a low priority. Once a COVID-19 vaccine for pets becomes widely available, you and your veterinarian can decide if your pet needs the protection.
Animals Are Vulnerable to COVID-19
Although animals all over the world have contracted the virus, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 And Animals page explains that they have minimal risk. That’s been the CDC’s position throughout the pandemic. Most pharmaceutical companies haven’t considered your pet’s risk, either. Consequently, they have put their efforts into developing human vaccines only.
Animal researchers have found that the COVID virus, SARS-CoV-2, infects domestic animals such as cats and dogs. Animals in captivity, such as tigers and gorillas have also contracted COVID-19. The pandemic has had a particularly profound effect on mink populations. Animal care professionals in America, Denmark, The Netherlands, and other countries have identified numerous COVID-related mink infections and fatalities. The virus has also infected many mink farmworkers.
Officials blame human-to-mink virus transmission. In some countries, officials suggest that some humans also became infected due to mink-to-human transmissions. Authorities in Denmark ordered 17 million mink destroyed after researchers identified a COVID-19 variant among the farm populations. Scientists speculate the even if animals don’t currently spread the virus to humans, they can ultimately serve as reservoirs for emerging variants.
A COVID-19 Vaccine For Pets
While the media have focused primarily on vaccines for humans, several companies made progress in developing COVID-19 vaccines for pets and other animals. On March 31, 2021, Russia registered Carnivak-Cov, the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine for animals. Developers tested the state-sponsored vaccine on dogs, cats, mink, and other animals.
Based on clinical trials, Carnivak-Cov is an effective COVID-19 vaccine for pets and farm animal populations. Russia projects that they will begin mass production soon. They should make the vaccine available in America and other countries.
Zoetis, a New Jersey veterinary pharmaceutical company has also developed a COVID-19 vaccine for animals. Their original research led to developing a COVID-19 vaccine for pets. They have also provided an experimental vaccine for great apes at the San Diego Zoo. The company has also developed a vaccine solution for mink farmers.
The South Dakota animal health company, Megdene Labs, is working on a Covid-19 vaccine for companion animals.
Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital
If you have questions about the availability or need for a COVID-19 vaccine for pets give us a call at (860) 228-4324. If your pet needs medical or preventive medical care, talk to us about scheduling an appointment, or just visit our contact page.