Mink, Source: Finnish Fur Breeders’ Association

Finland to vaccinate mink against COVID

Finland to vaccinate mink against COVID

It will be the first country in the EU to do so

Last year, the Danish government culled millions of mink after a mutated strain of COVID began spreading on farms in the country. Since then, it has been found that fur animals such as minks, ferrets, and cats are susceptible to the infectious disease and can transfer it to humans.

To prevent the need to take actions similar to Denmark’s, Finland has worked to create a vaccine that will safeguard the health of animals and people.

First COVID vaccine for animals in the EU

On 30 September, the Finnish Fur Breeders’ Association (FIFUR) announced that it has obtained a permit to vaccinate mink against COVID. According to FIFUR’s CEO Marja Tiura, the Finnish fur industry will be the first operator in the EU to do so.

Taking this further, under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the Finnish Food Authority has reportedly granted a conditional usage permit for the development and use of a mink COVID vaccine. FIFUR and a group of researchers at the University of Helsinki reportedly began working on this project in the late autumn of 2020.

In a press release, FIFUR explains that the aim of this new vaccine (FurcoVac) is to prevent the emergence of COVID on Finnish farms and to protect the health of both animals and farmers. So far, no Finnish minks have tested positive for the disease.

Research Director Jussi Peura commented on the project, sharing that the conditional usage permit will allow FIFUR to begin vaccinating minks under certain guidelines. Expanding on this, Finland cannot distribute the vaccine commercially as clinical trials have not yet been completed.

“We will continue the fight against corona and with the protective measures in cooperation with the authorities. The experimental corona vaccine for mink now licensed is a natural part of these protective measures,” Peura commented.



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