Its primates and carnivores will be among the first to receive the COVID-19 vaccine developed specifically for animals.
On Tuesday, the Denver Zoo announced that it would soon be distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to some of its animals. Its primates and carnivores will be some of the first animals to receive this vaccine, specializing in protecting pets, livestock, and zoo animals against the coronavirus.
The zoo will be using a vaccine developed by Zoetis, a pharmaceutical company that manufactures drugs and medicine for pets and livestock. The Oakland Zoo was the first to use the vaccine on its bears and large cats in late June. The Denver Zoo regularly gives its animals vaccines as part of the care they give. Most of the animals set to receive the COVID-19 vaccine are already trained to receive injections voluntarily.
"The decision to vaccinate our primates and carnivores came after evaluating the safety of the Zoetis vaccine and consulting with other AZA zoos and the veterinary medical community," the Denver Zoo announced on its Facebook page. "The safety and well-being of our animals is always a top priority at Denver Zoo, and there is evidence that primates, carnivores, and other mammals can be affected by COVID-19.
"These vaccinations are a part of our overall strategy to protect our animals from infection from COVID, and we will be monitoring each vaccinated individual closely after they receive their dose."
The Zoetis vaccine will be administered two doses a few weeks apart, similar to the vaccines for humans. A company press release announced that Zoetis would be donating over 11,000 doses to 70 zoos to help protect the animal population.
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below.