“Just as we vaccinate dogs against plagues like parvovirus, distemper or rabies, this is necessary to protect the animals in the zoo,” said an official, who uses a product specially designed for animals.
The Detroit Zoo in the United States launched a campaign on August 30 to vaccinate its animals against Covid-19, using a special vaccine created for veterinary use to immunize gorillas, lions, chimpanzees and other animals considered ” at risk ”in the face of the coronavirus.
“We are both grateful and relieved that a special vaccine is now available to protect them against Covid-19. The animals are given other vaccines regularly, ”said Scott Carter, zoo science director at Detroit Free Press. “Just as we vaccinate dogs against plagues like parvovirus, distemper or rabies, this is necessary to protect the animals in the zoo,” Ann Duncan, director of animal health for the Detroit Zoological, added in a statement. Society.
First use in California in January
Developed by the pharmaceutical company Zoetis, this animal-specific vaccine is primarily administered to gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers and lions. While the zoo said none of its animals had contracted the disease yet, the institution clarified that cases had been detected in other US zoos and that a tiger and a lion had died from the coronavirus in parks in India and Europe.
The Zoetis vaccine was first used in early January 2021 at a zoo in San Diego, California, where four orangutans and five bonobos became the first non-human primates to be vaccinated against the virus. Eight gorillas from the same zoo had already tested positive, but had not been vaccinated because they would have developed natural immunity. The product was originally developed for dogs and cats, but appears to have worked for other animals without causing an adverse reaction.
Zoetis is not the only pharmaceutical company producing a vaccine for animals. In March, in Russia, the veterinary and phytosanitary agency Rosselkhoznadzor announced the approval of the world’s first vaccine against Covid-19 for animals, Carnivac-Cov, advancing an efficacy rate of 100% after tests on cats, dogs, red and arctic foxes and minks.