Two biotech companies are currently working on a Covid-19 vaccine for your furry four-legged friend. The vaccine should be available by the end of this year, but Covid-19 doesn’t actually make a lot of cat victims.
There are 54 proven cases of Covid-19 in cats in the United States. In addition, the zoo in the Bronx has a tiger with Covid-19 (the animal is now better) and Denmark had to contend with Covid-19 with mink. That turned out less well: 17 million animals had to be killed there.
Protecting animals to protect people
Two mini-biotechers, the Italian EvviVax and the New York-based Applied DNA Sciences, want to avoid the latter scenario and are therefore feverishly looking for a vaccine that can protect animals against the coronavirus that has held us under its spell. The first animals to receive the vaccine will be cats.
Actually, the vaccine should not serve to protect animals. There are few coronaviruses that are really deadly to animals, this is none of them. But if animals can carry it, they can also ensure that this strand continues to exist and mutate. We want to avoid that at the moment.
“I find it very hard to believe that the cat sleeping at my foot that becomes infected with Covid does not pose a risk to humans,” said James Hayward, CEO of Applied DNA Sciences at Forbes business magazine.
When will the vaccine be available?
However, there is currently no hard evidence that you should fear your cat, even if it were to become infected. “I just don’t think the idea that we have some kind of circulating virus reservoir in the form of our pets is a good concept. By protecting cats, we also protect people. ”
Once developed, and that phase is almost complete, the various pharma watchdogs have yet to approve it. That could happen as early as the fall of this year. How much the vaccine will cost is not yet clear. Because it has to be administered in a specific way, it may only be available in large clinics.