Russia developing a coronavirus vaccine for mink and cats

NEWS AND VIEWS: Russia has a large mink fur industry. Comment: that’s not a good start in this story because animal advocates will detest that thought. Russia has around 100 fur farms and I understand that they are very large. Therefore they need to protect this lucrative industry. There have been Covid-19 infections at mink farms in which mink have given the disease to the workers who have in turn given in back to the mink.

It is not directly relevant to the story except that Putin tried to draw the rear end of a cat and Bush thinks of himself as an artist

A self-belief beyond ability is evident in President Putin.

Presidents Bush and Putin cat artwork

Putin drawing of cat’s bottom

Vaccine for cats

Surprisingly, they also say that they are creating a vaccine for cats (what about dogs?). It’ll be the same vaccine. Only a handful of cats have been tested to confirm that they were infected with coronavirus. In each case the symptoms were mild and reportedly not long lasting. Comment: on the face of it there is therefore little need for a vaccine cats or dogs. This is a PR exercise.

People will want to vaccinate pets as well – for example, cats that become infected with a new coronavirus infection – Sergey Dankvert, head of Rosselkhoznadzor

Rosselkhoznadzor, Russia’s veterinary watchdog, have said that they expect the animal vaccine to be tested this autumn. The Daily Mail reports that there have been cases of domestic cats with Covid-19 in Moscow and Tyumen. I have not seen these reports.

Comment

It appears to me that Russia wants to beat the world on the matter of a vaccine for Covid-19. They could be more interested in beating the world rather than creating an effective vaccine. There are great doubts about whether an effective vaccine can be created in the West by the end of the year never mind one which has been released in Russia already (labelled Sputnik V). However, they make it clear that the Russian Covid-19 vaccine can only be used on people who are in the age group 18-60 as I understand it. Another strange report as it is the over 70s who are the most at risk. They admit that a large amount of additional work is required.

My understanding is that scientists in the West are very dubious about the efficacy of the Russian vaccine. I don’t expect it to be bought by other countries.

The Russians say that their vaccine scientists are being headhunted. The head of Russia’s Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, Professor Alexander Gintsburg (the scientist behind their vaccine) said that the West is jealous of their progress and want to buy their top brains who developed the vaccine.

This looks like more propaganda to me. It is sad that the matter of a vaccine to protect against this devastating disease has become a propaganda issue. There is also competition between countries to get one out first. There is clearly a pile of money in it for the first laboratory to confirm that they have created an effective long lasting vaccine. And there’s a ton of kudos for the country but this should not deter laboratories from carrying out all the usual tests because there has to be a full belief in the vaccine by the public for it to be usable. People will not take it up unless they believe in it. You can’t impose it on people.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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