Why Scientists Warn That You Might Need to Vaccinate Your Pets Against COVID-19

It's true that pets are just as at risk for contracting the Coronavirus. Vaccinating pets during the same wave as people receiving their vaccines could be extremely beneficial in curbing the spread of the virus. Cats, dogs, mink, and other domesticated pets are all at risk to the virus, and quelling the disease any way we can would hugely cut back on the time we need to spend in quarantine. However, a vaccine that is safe for domesticated animals has yet to be developed.

The contineud evolution of the virus can pose significant long-term effects on public health, both to humans and animals.  “It is not unthinkable that vaccination of some domesticated animal species might be necessary to curb the spread of the infection,” the Virulence journal said. Last year Denmark selectively killed millions of mink after it was revealed that they were carriers of COVID-19 and posed a danger to farmed milk. Thankfully, there are no known cases in which dogs and cats contracted the virus, and then passed it on to humans. 

“It makes sense to develop vaccines for pets, for domestic animals, just as a precaution to reduce this risk,” Cock van Oosterhout of Virulence said. “What we need to be as a human society, we really need to be prepared for any eventuality when it comes to COVID. I think the best way to do this is indeed consider 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."

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