Great apes at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park given vaccine

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While there may be subsequent to no data on how new strains might influence our primate pals, the zoo determined to take the step to be the first to vaccinate non-humans.

SAN DIEGO — While tens of millions of Homo Sapiens are getting vaccinated for COVID-19 at super stations round the nation, practically 20 of our closest dwelling relations bought a dose that might defend them from the doubtlessly lethal illness. The gorillas, orangutangs and the bonobos dwelling at the San Diego Zoo and Safari Park had been given a vaccine after a gorilla examined optimistic for the virus.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t a surprise. We knew that because of the similarities of people and gorillas, we knew that they would be susceptible.” says Nadine Lamberski, the Chief Wildlife Health Officer for the San Diego Zoo. Though solely one in every of the apes was presenting delicate signs of COVID-19, the zoo’s determination to vaccinate got here right down to an abundance of cation.

“It’s extra protection for our great apes,” she says “They work closely with our wildlife care specialists and we know that infections can go from people to animals and animals to people.”

But is that this the identical vaccine that tens of millions of persons are nonetheless ready for? It’s shut however not precisely. The vaccine was developed by a company referred to as Zoetis who develops drugs for animals, and in line with Lamberski is sort of equivalent to the upcoming NovaVax vaccine for people.

“What makes a vaccine for animals different from a vaccine for people is the species that the vaccine is tested on. So these were tested on dogs and cats.” Says Lamberski

Since human and primates are so comparable in DNA, we will each be prone to the identical sicknesses. Which is why its not unusual for vets to make use of drugs made for people. The zoo offers human vaccines like the flu shot or measles vaccines to it’s primates.

While there may be subsequent to no data on how new strains might have an effect on our primate pals, the San Diego Zoo determined to take the extraordinary step to be the first to vaccinate non-humans for COVID-19.

“We look at our great apes in our care as part of our community,” says Lamberski “we take our jobs very seriously and the protection of those animals in our care, these endangered species that are irreplaceable, we we take that very seriously.”

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