Zoo animals get vaccinated for COVID-19

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OAKLAND, California (WJW) – Animals at the Oakland Zoo began receiving COVID-19 vaccines this weekend, following a donation.

Zoetis donated more than 11,000 doses of an experimental vaccine.

The vaccine has been authorized for experimental use on a case-by-case basis by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The vaccine was requested by the San Diego zoo in March of 2020 after several gorillas had confirmed cases of coronavirus.

At the Oakland Zoo, tigers, black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions, and ferrets were the first to receive their doses.

Next in line are primates, fruit bats, and pigs.

 “Up until now, we have been using public barriers at certain habitats to ensure social distancing, along with enhanced PPE worn by staff to protect our susceptible species from COVID-19. We’re happy and relieved to now be able to better protect our animals with this vaccine, said Dr. Alex Herman, VP of Veterinary Services at Oakland Zoo.

Zoetis is headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

According to a press release, the company has also created a vaccine for cats, dogs, poultry, and cattle.

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