Russia registers 'first' animal COVID vaccine

Russia has registered a new COVID vaccine for the furry, fluffy, and four-legged among us -- believed to be the world’s first vaccine for animals.

The country’s agricultural regulator, Rosselkhoznadzor, made the announcement on Wednesday after tests showed the vaccine generated antibodies against the virus in dogs, cats, foxes and mink.

Mink is particularly important, because parts of Europe have feared cross-transmission with the animal. Denmark culled its entire mink herd, 17 million, after concluding a strain had passed from humans to mink and back again.

Rosselkhoznadzor's deputy head Konstantin Savenkov:

"Of course we have fully understood that today this is a new challenge: both the virus itself for humanity and the virus's transmission from animals to humans and from humans to animals. And we have done this work with future in mind. We should be prepared and be able to prevent the negative situation and not just be able to fix it afterwards."

The vaccine is called Carnivac-Cov and the agency says it continued to show an immune response in the animals six months after trials began in October.

Rosselkhoznadzor said that Russian fur farms planned to buy the vaccine, along with businesses in Greece, Poland, and Austria.

Mass production could start as early as April.