September 7, 2021

Does Your Pet Need A Vaccine Against COVID?

Does Your Pet Need A Vaccine Against COVID?

Some zoos, including Indianapolis, are giving animals an experimental vaccine to protect against COVID-19.

But is a vaccine needed for household pets?

Doctor Melissa Justice, with the Indiana State Board of Animal Health, said a COVID vaccine is not currently on the market in the U.S for cats and dogs.

She says pets can get the virus, but...

“The good news with our dogs and cats and species like what we have in our homes is typically their clinical symptoms tend to be mild in most cases,” Justice said.

There is evidence that different species of animals are capable of contracting COVID-19 -- or the SARS CoV 2 virus -- from humans.  Therefore, Justice said it might be a good idea for pet owners diagnosed with COVID to also social distance from pets.  

“We have suggested that if the opportunity is available for pet owners who have COVID to have someone else in the household who is unaffected or who has tested negative to care for those animals during the same quarantine period that they would stay away from people in their family,” Justice said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, based on the available information, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low, and added there is no evidence that animals are playing a significant role in the spread of COVID in the U.S.

Contact WFYI Morning Edition newscaster and reporter Taylor Bennett at tbennett@wfyi.org. Follow on Twitter: @TaylorB2213.

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