According to media reports, an Australian veterinarian is working hard with regulatory bodies to vaccinate the country’s pets against Covid using a vaccine developed in Russia.
Dr Sam Kovac of Sydney’s Southern Cross Vets has yet to receive approval from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.
However, Kovac stated that he had a ‘positive’ conversation with a senior figure in the authority about the issue of having to pay a $105,000 application fee to get the medicine registered, according to Daily Mail.
“They put me in touch with getting an alternative permit. So it’s looking like, fast tracking is probably the wrong word, but there is an alternative method that we’re looking at to get this approved now,” he told Daily Mail Australia.
“It’s pretty exciting. It’s looking like it’s going to happen,” he added.
Pets account for approximately 5.1 million dogs and 3.8 million cats in Australia.
“You don’t need to import a million vaccines to start off with. If there is interest from a couple of thousand pet owners then we could start with that,” Kovac said.
“In Russia, most of the work is the vets doing their consult and administering it.
“It’s a very simple vaccine and they could manufacture 24 hours a day if there is the demand for it here. But the first step is to get it approved,” he noted.
Despite popular belief, Kovac stated that pets can get Covid, but there is no evidence that they can pass it on to humans.
“But there’s plenty of evidence from overseas that dogs, cats, ferrets, mink can contract Covid-19, the same virus that affects us, and in some cases it can be lethal and cause all the same problems that we get,” he said.
According to the report, the Russian pet vaccine has been approved in Japan, Brazil, and other South American countries.
In other news, hamsters from a Hong Kong pet store tested positive for Covid-19.
To combat an outbreak, the Hong Kong government intends to slaughter thousands of small animals such as hamsters, chinchillas, rabbits, and guinea pigs.
According to the World Health Organization, the risk of animals reinfecting humans with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for Covid-19, remains low.
“We understand there are a number of species that can be infected with SARS-CoV-2,” the WHO’s Covid-19 technical lead, Maria Van Kerkhove, told a virtual media briefing on Tuesday.
“There’s the possibility (of) a reverse zoonosis (that) goes from humans back to animals, and then it’s possible for the animals to reinfect humans. That risk remains low,” she said.