San Diego Zoo apes get experimental COVID-19 vaccine
Nine great apes from the San Diego Zoo have received an experimental coronavirus vaccine, not designed for human use, National Geographic first reported.
Details: Four orangutans and five bonobos were inoculated with the vaccine developed by Zoetis, a veterinary pharmaceuticals company, according to The New York Times.
The big picture: Zoetis' vaccine is now being tested on mink and the company is expanding its production. More doses will be provided to zoos once they become available, per the Times.
Worth mentioning: The vaccinations come after eight gorillas tested positive in January for the coronavirus, presumably infected by exposure to a zookeeper who tested positive had COVID-19, officials said, per AP. The gorillas experienced a range of symptoms, are recovering.
- "Infection of apes is a major concern for zoos and conservationists," per the Times. "They easily fall prey to human respiratory infections, and common cold viruses have caused deadly outbreaks in chimpanzees in Africa."