Coronavirus Vaccine: NIH Isn’t Waiting for Pointless Animal Tests

Published by Katherine Sullivan.

Here at PETA, we’ve been saying for years that experiments on animals are pointless—they slow down the search for treatments and cures for human disease. Moreover, all the poisoning, shocking, burning, and killing is unethical and cruel. Many other scientists and experts agree. But when it comes to a new coronavirus vaccine, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is finally heeding PETA’s call—according to BBC News, the agency isn’t waiting for the typical, lengthy animal-testing phase and is instead heading straight for human trials. While this won’t stop all tests on animals for the vaccine, it should pave the way for safe straight-to-human vaccine trials from now on.

In Seattle, 45 healthy, willing volunteers have reportedly agreed to partake in the first human trial of a vaccine, funded by NIH, that could protect against COVID-19, the novel, SARS-like coronavirus (which has apparently been traced back to live animals who were closely confined, shipped, killed, and eaten) that has much of the world in a fearful frenzy.

Rats, mice, and other animals can’t be willing participants in experiments.

Unlike humans, animals can’t agree to being experimented on. And if they could, they likely wouldn’t consent to being mutilated, poisoned, infected with painful and deadly diseases, burned, electrocuted, shot, addicted to drugs, or psychologically tortured and eventually killed.

Refusing to condemn animals to a life of pain, loneliness, and terror shouldn’t be reserved for urgent public health priorities—it should be standard practice.

We work globally to expose and end the use of animals in experiments. This includes working to phase out animal tests at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, collaborating with members of Congress to stop cruel studies, and persuading major corporations, other government agencies, and universities to abandon animal tests in favor of modern, non-animal methods. With the help of our members and supporters, we’re leading the way to the future—one that doesn’t include cruel, archaic tests on animals.

We do this partly because experiments on animals aren’t just cruel and expensive—they’re also overwhelmingly inapplicable to humans.

NIH itself reports that 95 out of every 100 drugs that pass animal tests fail in humans. Experiments on animals divert time and funding from better, non-animal methods. And experts know it. Regardless of the lack of tests on animals, Moderna Therapeutics—the company behind the new coronavirus vaccine—reportedly says that “the vaccine has been made using a tried and tested process.”

All vaccines, drugs, treatments, and products should be “made using a tried and tested process” that doesn’t include nonconsenting animals. Click on the link below if you’re with us—urge NIH and the National Institute on Aging not to squander taxpayer dollars on cruel and worthless experiments on marmosets:

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind