Russia registered the world's first coronavirus vaccine for animals on Wednesday, the country's agriculture safety watchdog said.
The Carnival-Cov vaccine is a possible vaccine for pets. All vaccinated carnivorous animals developed antibodies to the virus, proving that it was safe and successful.
Russia's Tass News Agency said scientists at the Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance, also known as Rosselkhoznadzor, made the vaccine.
How Effective is This COVID-19 Vaccine for Animals?
According to estimates, the shot is 91.6 percent effective against symptomatic COVID and 100 percent effective against serious and moderate COVID cases. It is expected to last at least six months. It could go into mass production as soon as this month if all goes well.
Three coronavirus vaccines have already been licensed for emergency use in humans in Russia. According to Rosselkhoznadzor deputy head Konstantin Savenkov, this will be the world's first widespread animal inoculation program.
"The outcome of the research gives us grounds to conclude that the vaccine is safe and has [a] strong immunogenic effect," Savenkov said.
In October, scientists in Russia began clinical trials on dogs, cats, foxes, including Arctic foxes, and minks, among other species. According to Savenkov, mass production of the vaccine may begin in April.
Savenkov told Tass News that "domestic animal-breeding enterprises and commercial firms from Greece, Poland, and Austria" are preparing to purchase the vaccine. United States, Canada, and Singapore would also buy the vaccine, he added.
The coronavirus vaccine developed by Russia for humans has yet to be licensed for use in the United States or Europe.
New York Times said two American companies - Zoetis, a veterinary pharmaceutical firm headquartered in New Jersey, and Medgene Laboratories, based in South Dakota - have been working on coronavirus vaccines for minks and other animals.
Animals Spreading COVID-19 Vaccine
While many scientists believe the virus that causes COVID-19 first spread from bats to humans through another route, infections have since been documented in animals worldwide, from zoos to mink farms.
Scientists claim cats and dogs play a minor role in transmitting the coronavirus to humans. Their symptoms are generally mild if they contract COVID-19. It's still uncertain how easily the virus can spread from animals to humans.
However, after several outbreaks of the disease in minks on farms in Denmark and elsewhere in Europe, millions of the furry animals were killed as a measure to prevent further spread.
Scientists are especially concerned that mutated virus variants developed in minks and other animals could infect humans.
NBC News said only two cases of COVID-19 in animals had been reported in Russia, both in cats.
Alexander Gintsburg, the head of the institute that created Russia's Sputnik V human vaccine, told the Izvestia newspaper that Covid-19 is likely to reach animals next.
Sputnik V is the most well-known of Russia's three coronavirus vaccines for humans. Two other vaccines, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac, have also gained emergency approval from Moscow.
RELATED ARTICLE: COVID-19 Mutation Has Caused the Pandemic to Become Unpredictable
Check out more news and information on COVID-19 on Science Times.