SAN ANTONIO – The COVID-19 vaccine is finally here for animals and the San Antonio Zoo is looking to start vaccinating all of the most vulnerable animals.
On Aug. 31, the San Antonio Zoo announced it will begin vaccinating a number of animals out of an abundance of caution.
The zoo will start by giving the vaccine to its most at risk animals.
“We are looking to initially vaccinate those species that have been shown to contract COVID-19,” said Director of Veterinary Care San Antonio Zoo, Dr. Rob Coke. “Species such as our large and medium cat species, lesser apes, other primates, mongoose, monk, ferrets, and otters are all on our list to vaccinate. Others will be added to the list as vaccine availability and research progresses.”
The animals will be receiving COVID-19 shots from the company Zoetis. In July, Zoetis set out more than 11,000 doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to help protect the health and well-being of more than 100 mammalian species living in nearly 70 zoos, as well as more than a dozen conservatories, sanctuaries, academic institutions and government organizations located in 27 states.
The Zoetis COVID-19 vaccine is only meant for animals. The main reason for the vaccine is to stop the spread and mutation of the virus. Zoetis reports that 75% of emerging infectious diseases have an animal origin, indicating there is a vital connection between animal and human health.