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A Ferret in the Animal Room Education Ambassador at Oakland Zoo receiving a COVID-19 vaccination while enjoying a treat. Photo: Oakland Zoo

California's Oakland Zoo has begun vaccinating bears, big cats and ferrets against COVID-19 after being donated doses from Zoetis of its experimental shots.

Details: "Tigers, Black bears, Grizzly bears, Mountain lions and ferrets were the first to receive their first of two doses" this week, the zoo said in a statement. "Next are primates, including Chimpanzees, Fruit bats, and pigs."

"Through protective contact, tigers are trained to voluntarily present themselves for minor medical procedures, including vaccinations," Oakland Zoo said in its statement. Photo: Oakland Zoo
  • Alex Herman, vice president of veterinary services at Oakland Zoo, noted in the statement that none of the animals had tested positive for the virus, but officials want to "reduce the risk of COVID-19."

The big picture: Zoetis is donating more than 11,000 doses of its vaccine to be administered to over 100 mammals in nearly 70 zoos, in addition to conservatories, sanctuaries, academic institutions and government organizations located in 27 states, per the Oakland Zoo statement.

  • San Diego Zoo administered Zoetis' vaccine to nine great apes after eight gorillas tested positive for the virus at the facility in January.
  • The vaccine is being tested on minks.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Pfizer booster has 95.6% efficacy, large study shows — FDA authorizes mix-and-match for booster shots — J&J expects $2.5 billion of vaccine sales this year.
  2. Health: Cases and deaths keep falling — White House unveils plan to "quickly" vaccinate kids ages 5-11 — The global coronavirus vaccine gap — Gates Foundation to send $120 million of antiviral pills to lower-income countries.
  3. Politics: Reports: Brazil leader to be accused of crimes against humanity over COVID — Puerto Rico leads U.S. vaccination rates — Hawaii invites fully vaccinated travelers to return from Nov. 1.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Oct 10, 2021 - Health

Pfizer to vaccinate entire Brazilian city as part of study

A health care worker administers a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine to a teenager on Paqueta Island, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil. Photo: Maria Magdalena Arrellaga/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Pfizer will vaccinate all residents over the age of 12 in the Brazilian city of Toledo as part of a study measuring the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine, the company said in a statement.

Why it matters: Researchers in the study hope to monitor viral transmission in a real-life scenario after the population has been inoculated.

Oct 12, 2021 - Health

Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive for COVID

Students sit in a classroom at a high school during the first day of classes in Novi, Michigan. Photo: Emily Elconin/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A parent is suing a Wisconsin school district and its school board after their child contracted COVID-19 from a classmate, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Driving the news: The lawsuit alleges that Shannon Jensen's son contracted the virus because of the Waukesha School District's lack of mitigation measures. The district lifted its mask mandate and many other measures back in May.