A shortage of research animals could delay a COVID-19 vaccine

Research into vaccines and treatments for the coronavirus could soon stall for an unexpected reason -- a lack of research animals.

The National Institutes of Health warned in September about a shortage of nonhuman primates, such as rhesus macaques. Demand for research monkeys is soaring as companies and governments pour billions into COVID-19 research.

Making matters worse, more than 60% of nonhuman primate research animals come from China, which stopped exporting them. Scientists also face a shortfall of specially bred lab mice.

These shortages are deeply concerning. Animals play an indispensable role in virtually every medical breakthrough. The current shortages could hamper the fight against not just COVID-19 but diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, too.






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