Chilean zoo vaccinates animals against COVID-19
In addition to having organized one of the most prolific COVID-19 vaccination campaigns on humans, Chile now intends to extend this achievement to other living things after three lions, three tigers, three pumas and an orangutan were injected into Santiago’s Buin. Zoo.
The animals received a first dose of an experimental vaccine developed by the veterinary laboratory Zoetis, as it has long been determined that COVID-19 is not exclusive to humans. Nearly 22 months ago, the first case of an infected dog was recorded in Hong Kong.
The Buin zoo, located in the metropolitan region of Chile, thus became the first in Latin America to vaccinate animals, immunizing 10 specimens, it was reported. Three lions, three tigers, three pumas and an orangutan received the first dose of the vaccine on December 13 and will receive the second in a few weeks, Chile’s largest zoo also announced.
On February 28, 2020, the Hong Kong Health Protection Center asked infected patients to hand over their pets for a two-week quarantine, when a 60-year-old woman’s dog tested positive, showing that animals, especially pets, could be infected, although so far these are isolated and irrelevant cases.
Other zoos around the world have also reportedly started to vaccinate animals.
The animals are vaccinated to protect themselves from possible contagion of human beings, in particular in the case of emblematic animals in danger of extinction, ?? Sebastián Celis, veterinarian at Buin Zoo, said La Tercera.
Celis also said there were no studies on animals and the new variants of SARS-CoV-2, but “everything would point to the vaccines protecting them”, although the number of booster doses needed remains. to be determined. The original protocol states that the second dose is after 21 days. The first took place on the 13th of this month.
According to the director of Buin Zoo, Ignacio Idalsoaga, the decision to vaccinate the animals was to “maintain the highest standards in animal welfare and to be pioneers and innovators in this field”. He also explained that the animals were chosen based on “international evidence of animals most susceptible to contagion.” and pointed out that none showed adverse effects.
The vaccine applied to Buin, which has passed all Chilean health checks to be applied and is used exclusively for animals, is the same that was used at the San Diego Zoo in the United States, which immunized its first nine monkeys in March.