Anocovax, India’s First COVID-19 Vaccine for Animals: Key Points

Recently, India’s first COVID-19 vaccine that can be given to animals has been launched by the Union Agriculture Ministry. This vaccine has been developed by the National Research Centre on Equines which is located in Hisar, Haryana. The vaccine has been named “Ancovax” and it offers protection to animals from SARS-CoV-2’s Omicron and Delta variants.

How does this vaccine work?

This vaccine can be given to:

  • Lions
  • Dogs
  • Mice
  • Leopards

It is a type of vaccine that is inactivated and has been made by using a contagious portion of the Delta variant. Also, Alhydrogel is used in this vaccine as an adjuvant so that the immune response can be enhanced.

Why was the need of developing this vaccine?

This vaccine was very much needed as reports have been found of animals getting infected with the Covid-19 virus. This vaccine can be given to the animals kept in the zoo to protect them from the disease. Giving this vaccine to the animals can also prevent animals to human transmissions. There is a huge risk of COVID-19 spreading from animals and hence, this vaccine is very important in keeping infection in check.

What is the aim of developing this vaccine?

The vaccine was developed with the goal of protecting endangered animals like tigers, etc. In the country, 9 Covid infections were reported in Asiatic lions with a lioness probably dying from this disease. Also, a study found a minimum of 3 natural Covid infections in wild Asiatic lions, with a leopard cub having died from this disease.

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