LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While it isn't Pfizer or Moderna, some animals at the Louisville Zoo have now received their version of a COVID-19 vaccine. The Zoo announced it received doses of a “uniquely formulated” vaccine developed for animal species from animal health care company Zoetis. The doses are going to species that have shown to be most susceptible to the virus, the Zoo said.
What You Need To Know
- The Louisville Zoo has begun administering a COVID-19 vaccine for animals
- The doses will be given to species that have shown to be most susceptible to the virus
- The Zoetis vaccine is a two-shot series and has been authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of State Veterinarian for Kentucky
- The Louisville Zoo is one of 70 zoos to receive the vaccine
The Zoo said it will administer the vaccine to 29 apes and cats over the coming weeks. The process will be similar to administering the annual flu shots that apes already receive.
The Zoetis vaccine is a two-shot series and has been authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Office of State Veterinarian for Kentucky.
The Louisville Zoo is one of 70 zoos to receive the vaccine.
The animal healthcare team and keeper staff will closely monitor all animals receiving the vaccine for any “atypical” reactions, the Zoo said.
“Based on continued cases being reported in zoo animals around the world, and our own experience with the snow leopards, we are eager to get our most susceptible animals vaccinated,” said Louisville Zoo Senior Veterinarian Dr. Zoli Gyimesi. “Vaccination against preventable infectious diseases is a vital part of our preventative healthcare program.”
Keeper staff who work directly with animals continue to wear personal protective equipment while all Zoo staff follows COVID-19 protocols.
Last year, the Zoo’s three snow leopards tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans. All three fully recovered and will receive the vaccine as part of this rollout.
The Zoo noted that based on current knowledge, the risk of infected animals spreading the virus to humans is considered low.