‘Anocovax’ India’s First COVID-19 Vaccine For Animals; Read More

New Delhi: India has proudly announced its COVID-19 vaccine to protect animals from infection. Developed by Haryana’s ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines, ‘Anocovax’ offers protection against both Delta and Omicron variants of the infection.

It may be recalled that many people had abandoned their pets during the first and second waves of the pandemic, fearing that COVID can spread from animals to humans. However, several studies have shown that COVID-19 can spread from people to animals during close contact. Pets worldwide, including cats and dogs, have been infected with the virus that causes Covid-19, mostly after close contact with people with coronavirus, a News18 report said.

Pets infected with this virus may or may not get sick. Of the pets that have gotten sick, most only had mild illness and fully recovered. Serious illness in pets is extremely rare, the report added.

Fact file of Anocovax:

  • It is a SARS-CoV-2 Delta (COVID-19) vaccine for animals that is inactivated.
  • According to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), the immunity elicited by Anocovax neutralises both the Delta and Omicron versions of SARS-CoV-2.
  • The vaccine contains inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (Delta) antigen with Alhydrogel as an adjuvant.
  • It is safe for dogs, lions, leopards, mice, and rabbits.
  • A kit has been developed to detect the antibody in animals against SARS-CoV-2. CAN-CoV-2 ELISA kit is a sensitive and specific nucleocapsid protein-based indirect ELISA kit.
  • Animals vs COVID

    Scientists have found SARS-CoV-2 in 29 kinds of animals, including white-tailed deer, cats, dogs, ferrets, mice, otters and tigers. In most cases, the animals have not been shown to spread the virus to people. In November 2020, scientists found that minks have spread the virus to people.

    Cases of COVID-19 positive animals in India

  • In May 2021, eight Asiatic lions in a zoo in Hyderabad contracted coronavirus. They showed signs of respiratory distress.
  • Coronavirus was found in dogs, cows and buffaloes too in Gujarat, according to a study titled ‘Surveillance and molecular characterization of SARS-CoV-2 in non-human hosts in Gujarat’.
  • In June 2021, two lions died of the infection at a zoo near Chennai. The animals had displayed symptoms such as coughing and loss of appetite. At least 10 other lions caught the virus at the zoo, with two aged lionesses becoming critically ill before recovering.


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