Coronavirus: Finland to start vaccinating mink

Finland has allowed its mink farmers to vaccinate these animals with an experimental vaccine. Mink is believed to be able to transmit Covid-19 to humans

Finnish mink farmers will start vaccinating all of the country’s animals against Covid-19 after local authorities gave temporary permission for an experimental vaccine, the Finnish food authority said on Friday.

Conditional use of this vaccine can be authorized during a pandemic period when no other vaccine is available, and “is granted until the end of December, when the applicant will have to provide new data,” Liisa said. Kaartinen, the chief inspector of this authority, who controls veterinary activities. “We have prepared around half a million doses, which should be enough to vaccinate all the animals twice,” said Jussi Peura, research director of the Finnish Association of Mink Breeders, which developed the vaccine, in cooperation with researchers from the University of Helsinki.

Green light only in Finland

As clinical trials have not yet been completed, the vaccine cannot be distributed commercially and must be used under strict procedures in Finland’s 1,000 mink farms to control and prevent the spread of the virus. The green light for the vaccine only applies to Finland, where so far no cases of the new coronavirus have been identified among minks.

The breeders’ association believes its vaccine is the first to receive approval within the European Union. Neighboring Russia boasted in March that it had developed the first animal vaccine against Covid-19. The mink is the only animal so far considered capable of transmitting Covid-19 to humans. Denmark, which was the largest exporter of mink fur, saw this trade decimated after a mutated strain of the virus began to affect mink farms last November, forcing the government to order the slaughter of a few 15 million minks. minks of the country.

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