Cincinnati Zoo announces COVID-19 vaccination of 80 animals

Cincinnati Zoo announces COVID-19 vaccination of 80 animals
© Courtesy Cincinnati Zoo

The Cincinnati Zoo announced on Monday that 80 animals have been vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The zoo said they have been preparing the animals for months by making them comfortable with what they would see and feel when they were given the Zoetis COVID-19 vaccine.

“We were concerned that the fresh memory of the first injection would make animals less willing to offer a shoulder or thigh for the second round, but they did! That success is 100% due to the strong relationships these animals have with care staff and our animal health team,” Cincinnati Zoo’s director of animal health Mark Campbell said in a statement.

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The animals received both doses of the coronavirus shot within three weeks of each other. The doses were administered by three vet technicians at the zoo.

Other animals that have been given at least one dose of the vaccine are big cats, great apes, red pandas, goats, giraffes, river otters, skunks, bearcats and domestic dogs and cats.

The animals will get the second dose of the vaccine soon.

Campbell said three technicians are helping administer the shots, in addition to their regular responsibilities.

“Adding the task of vaccinating dozens of animals, located all over the Zoo’s campus, to their plates was a big request. Not surprisingly, they rolled up their sleeves and got busy, working quickly to ensure that each multi-dose vaccine container was used within 24 hours of opening and kept at the desired temperature at all times,” he added.

There have been no negative reactions in the animals from the vaccine and they will continue to be monitored, the zoo said.

The coronavirus has spread to animals and outbreaks in zoos have been previously reported, with lions and tigers contracting the coronavirus at Smithsonian’s National Zoo.