The Haryana-based ICAR-National Research Centre on Equines has developed India’s first Covid-19 vaccine for animals. The homegrown vaccine was launched by Union Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar.


What is Anocovax?

  • Anocovax is an inactivated SARS-CoV-2 Delta (COVID-19) vaccine for animals.
  • According to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), it is safe for dogs, lions, leopards, mice and rabbits.
  • Earlier in 2021, Russia had rolled out its Covid vaccine for pets – Carnivac-Cov – after trials showed that it generated antibodies in dogs, cats, foxes and mink.
  • According to the US Department of Agriculture, at least 15 species of animals, including domestic pets and wild animals, are known to have been infected with Covid-19.


How does this vaccine trigger an immune response?

Anocovax is an inactivated vaccine. The vaccine contains inactivated SARS-CoV-2 (Delta) antigen with Alhydrogel as an adjuvant. The immunity induced by Anocovax neutralises both Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2.


Can pets get Covid from humans?

  • The virus that causes Covid-19 can spread from people to animals during close contact, says the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention. 
  • It adds that pets can get serious illness from infection with the Covid virus, but this is extremely rare. Across the world, pets were reported to have caught the infection during the course of the pandemic.
  • A 2021 study in the Netherlands showed that Covid-19 was highly prevalent in pets of people who had the disease, with over 20% of such pets catching the infection.