St. Louis MO Zoo vaccinating at-risk animals against COVID-19

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Ethan Riepl

Saint-Louis Zoo

The Saint Louis Zoo vaccinated its first animal to protect its animals most at risk from COVID-19.

A male chimpanzee, Jimiyu, 29, received his first dose of Zoetis’ COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday morning.

Zoetis, a global animal health company headquartered in Kalamazoo, Mich., And the vaccine distributor, has donated 11,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to dozens of zoos and animal organizations across the country. country.

Luis Padilla, vice president of animal collections at the Saint Louis Zoo, said in a statement that no animals have tested positive for the coronavirus, although cases have emerged in other zoos.

In addition to the COVID-19 vaccine, the chimpanzee received other vaccines during a regular veterinary examination, the statement said.

Jimiyu is recovering well in a private area of ​​monkey jungle habitat and no unwanted side effects are expected, according to zoo vets. However, it will be monitored.

According to a statement, the zoo plans to administer the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine over the next few months as part of a staged deployment to nearly 100 primates, big cats, river otters, painted dogs and foxes at bat ears.

Animals are at potential risk of becoming infected with SARS-CoV-2. Doses are given three weeks apart and full vaccination is achieved two weeks after the second dose.

Saint Louis Zoo is home to more than 12,000 animals, representing 500 species. The zoo attracts around 3 million visitors per year and is the most visited attraction in the region.


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