India launches first Covid-19 vaccine ‘Anocovax’ for Animals

Haryana-based ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines on June 9 launched India’s first indigenously developed Covid-19 vaccine for animals called Anocovax. It is the country’s first home-grown vaccine for animals and the launching of the vaccine was done by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. National Research Centre on Equines team says that the vaccine’s clinical trial was done and it said that it offers protection against both Delta and Omicron variants of the infection, The Logical Indian reported. 

The development of the animal vaccine ‘Anocovax ‘ comes after a team of experts feared the spread of Covid-19 and its variants from humans to animals due to close contact.  As per the report from Indian Express, the indigenously developed vaccine works for animals like cats, dogs, lions, leopards, mice, and rabbits. The Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) said in a statement that the immunity induced by Anocovax neutralizes both Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2. 

Anocovax vaccine contains inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (Delta) antigen with Alhydrogel as an adjuvant.  US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of transmission from animal to human is low. However, to limit any spread of the infection, NRCE took the step to introduce the vaccine to animals. 

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India is developing such a vaccine for the first time, however, earlier Russia claimed that it had also developed a vaccine against animals such as dogs, cats, minks, and foxes. Some of the studies have shown that the animals infected with the virus may or may not get sick. Pets that got sick showed only mild symptoms and illness and have fully recovered. This is one of the reasons why the country decided to develop the vaccine.