COVID-19 vaccine for pets; Scientists say that pets may also need to be immunised to fight against Covid-19 to prevent the transmission of the virus, even though human coronavirus vaccination has just begun worldwide.
COVID-19 vaccine for pets
Experts from the University of East Anglia (UEA), the Earlham Institute’s Norwich-based research facility and the University of Minnesota claimed, as per a study by Independent, that coronavirus would involve a wide variety of species like cats, dogs, mink and other domestic animals species.
They cautioned in an abstract for the journal Virulence that rapid advancement of the virus “creates a serious long-term risk to public health” in animals led by an infection in humans.
“It is not unthinkable that vaccination of some domesticated animal species might… be necessary to curb the spread of the infection,” the report quoted their journal.
Although dogs and cats can develop coronavirus but there are no reported cases where human spillback has occurred, one of the authors of the editorial stated.
“It makes sense to develop vaccines for pets, for domestic animals, just as a precaution to reduce this risk,” said Cock van Oosterhout, professor of evolutionary genetics at UEA. d.
“What we need to be as a human society, we need to be prepared for any eventuality when it comes to Covid-19. I think the best way to do this is indeed considered the development of vaccines for animals as well. Interestingly the Russians have already started to develop a vaccine for pets, which there’s very little information about,” he added.
Kevin Tyler, editor-in-chief of Virulence, said: “Cats are asymptomatic but they are infected by it and they can infect humans with it.
“The risk is that, as long as there are these reservoirs, that it starts to pass as it did in the mink from animal to animal and then starts to evolve animal-specific strains, but then they spill back into the human population and you end up essentially with a new virus which is related which causes the whole thing all over again. It’s not an obvious risk yet.”
Including the head of the Earlham Institute, Neil Hall and Hinh Ly of the University of Minnesota, the editorial was written by Prof van Oosterhout and Prof Tyler.
The scientists wrote in their editorial, Persisted virus development in animal hosts in reservoirs, accompanied by spillback incidents into vulnerable human hosts, presents a major long-term public health risk.
“SARS-CoV-2 can infect a wide range of host species, including cats, dogs, mink and other wild and domesticated species and, hence, the vaccination of domesticated animals might be required to halt further virus evolution and spillback events.
“Whilst the vaccination campaigns against SARS-CoV-2/ Covid-19 are being rolled out worldwide, new virus variants are likely to continue to evolve that has the potential to sweep through the human population.”
They claimed that to maintain coronavirus in control, more transmissible virus variants, including the UK variant, need more individuals to be vaccinated.
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