clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Your dog and cat might need their own COVID-19 vaccine, study says

Researchers said in a new editorial that pets may need their own COVID-19 vaccine

A man walks his dog along Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A man walks his dog along Paseo de la Reforma in Mexico City, Monday, Jan. 25, 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Associated Press

Your cats and dogs might need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 with a different shot than the one you get, according to researchers.

What’s going on?

Experts from the University of East Anglia (UEA), Norwich-based research facility the Earlham Institute and the University of Minnesota recently wrote in an editorial for the journal Virulence that “virus evolution in animal hosts, such as cats and mink, followed by transmission into susceptible human hosts, poses a significant long-term risk to public health,” according to the release.

  • “It is not unthinkable that vaccination of some domesticated animal species might be necessary to curb the spread of the infection,” the researcher said.

Cock van Oosterhout, professor of evolutionary genetics at UEA, said pets may need their own vaccines, too, according to HuffPost.

  • “It makes sense to develop vaccines for pets, for domestic animals, just as a precaution to reduce this risk,” he said, per HuffPost. “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.”

Context

Denmark had to cull millions of mink last year because coronavirus cases in the country were linked to the animals, according to the New York Post. The same situation could happen with domestic animals, which would create a public health crisis.