With vaccines being distributed and administered all over the world, communities everywhere are starting to recover from the pandemic. But while we’re all focused on getting people back on track with their lives, a zoo in Oakland is imposing preventive protocols so the virus won’t reach its animals.
Currently, the zoo imposes social distancing measures with animals that are more likely to get infected, and now it is introducing a new animal-friendly vaccine.
The experimental vaccine was developed and donated by the veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis. Currently, a handful of tigers, bears, mountain lions, and ferrets have been injected with the vaccine. According to the company, it’s currently only authorized for experimental use on a case-by-case basis by the US Agriculture Department.
The Zoetis vaccine was first administered to primates at the San Diego Zoo and resulted in no new infections since the initial outbreak.
Interestingly, this isn’t the first coronavirus vaccine for animals. In March, Russia registered the first vaccine for us with dogs, cats, minks, foxes, and others.
In a previous statement, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention had detailed that coronavirus that’s spread by animals to humans is unlikely. A few cases have been reported though, including a case that involved eight gorillas infected by an asymptomatic zookeeper who was wearing protective gear.
Back in April, two tigers in the Virginia Zoo in Norfolk tested positive while in March the virus was found in a dog in Hong Kong. Last year, the Danish government did away with over 15 million minks in fear that these infected animals would breed a new variant.
The Oakland Zoo will be vaccinating chimpanzees, fruit bats, and pigs next. The company is also are donating 11,000 doses to different zoos, conservatories, and sanctuaries.