Canberra: A South Australian researcher has developed a coronavirus vaccine for animals that will soon be trialed on pets.
Nikolai Petrovsky, a professor at Flinders University, and veterinarian Sam Kovac joined forces to adapt COVAX-19 for animals, reports Xinhua news agency.
Developed by Petrovsky, COVAX-19 has been administered to millions of people in Iran and is awaiting human approval in Australia.
Kovac’s three dogs will be among 25 pets that participate in trials of the vaccine.
“The great thing is that being based on a human vaccine technology where more than 6 million doses have been safely administered, we can be confident it is also very safe for pets,” he told News Corp Australia on Friday.
“Unlike other respiratory viruses, it is now proven that many domestic pets including cats, dogs and pocket pets like ferrets can catch Covid-19 from human close contacts. Just like us, they can catch it via direct contact and handling by an infected human.
“They are at risk of myocarditis, pericarditis, respiratory failure, but may also just have a mild or asymptomatic infection,” he said.
Australia on Friday reported more than 25,000 new human coronavirus infections and 37 deaths — 26 in Victoria, seven in Queensland, two in New South Wales (NSW) and two in South Australia.
Medical regulator the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Friday warned Australians against using rapid antigen tests (RATs) that it has not approved for use.
“(Unapproved RATs) have not been assessed by the TGA, meaning they do not come with the same assurances of safety, effectiveness and quality as those that have met Australian regulatory requirements.
“Unapproved versions may not work as expected, or work at all,” the TGA said.