Published on: June 13, 2022
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Incheon The Agriculture Ministry unveiled India’s first Covid-19 vaccine for animals.
- Developed by: the Hisar-based National Research Centre on Equines,
- The vaccine name: Ancovax,
- Protects: can protect animals against the Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2.
HOW IT WORKS:
- Ancovax can be used in dogs, lions, leopards, mice, and rabbits. It is an inactivated vaccine developed using an infectious part of the Delta variant. In addition, it uses Alhydrogel as an adjuvant to boost the immune response.
- This is the first Covid-19 vaccine for animals developed in India. There were reports from Russia last year that country, too, had developed a vaccine against animals such as dogs, cats, minks, and foxes.
- There have been reports of Covid-19 infection in several animals, including dogs and cats. “The vaccine can protect animals in the zoo. It can also prevent transmission from companion animals to the humans.
- The aim of the vaccine is to protect endangered animals such as lions and tigers. India reported at least nine Covid infections in Asiatic lions in Chennai zoo last year, with one of the lioness likely to have died of it. This prompted closure of tiger reserves for tourism.
- There have been a few cases reported in wildlife across the world, some from the zoo, and some in pets. However, percentage-wise, it is very low.
The animals develop similar symptoms to humans – cough, cold, fever, and lung lesions. However, since the disease is zoonotic [it can be transmitted from animals to humans], a vaccine would help.