Do cats and canines want the COVID-19 vaccine?

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Two Charlotte vets say vaccinating your pet against COVID-19 is not an option right now, but interest is growing.

CHARLOTTE, NC – Pet owners speak on social media in a recent New York Post article about dogs and cats who may be in need of the COVID-19 vaccine.

With vaccine supplies scarce, some people wonder when their pet is eligible for a vaccine, whether it is safe, or if they even need it.

As Wake Up Charlotte viewers know, our pets are a huge part of our lives, as are our viewers. So Rachel Lundberg of WCNC Charlotte went to two Charlotte vets to get the answers.

Do our dogs and cats need to be vaccinated against COVID-19? Here’s what we learned after speaking to two Charlotte vets.

Marnie Gallagher, a veterinary surgeon at Armstrong Animal Clinic, and Dr. Fred Wininger, neurosurgery neurologist at Charlotte Referral and Emergency, agreed that they were pets don’t worry too much either for a serious illness or for the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

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“There have been no cases where an animal, especially a dog and cat, has returned it to people,” said Wininger. “… and animals that become infected, which is rare, are often asymptomatic.”

For the animal-confirmed cases, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) tracks each diagnosis through an interactive map showing one case in South Carolina and two in North Carolina during this pandemic.

“The one in North Carolina was last July and it was a house dog, then last November there was a dog that was in a sheltered situation,” Gallagher said.

But even though the numbers are low there is * interest * in the potential vaccination of our pets against COVID-19 in the future, especially following outbreaks in mink, which the New York Post also wrote about.

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Enough * interest * that there are some companies out there involved in vaccine development, says Gallagher.

“More for the Big Cats and Minx than anything else, but none have been approved by the USDA,” she added.

As a result, dogs and cats cannot currently receive the COVID-19 vaccine, nor is it considered necessary.

“It is likely safe in most animals, but its effectiveness in animals is unknown and no dog or cat has died from the virus,” Wininger said.

To learn more about what the CDC has to say about COVID-19 and animals, click here.