Great apes receive COVID-19 vaccine at San Diego Zoo

A number of nice apes at the San Diego Zoo acquired two doses every of a COVID-19 vaccine in February, National Geographic reports. The fortunate recipients are 4 orangutans and 5 bonobos, who had been distracted with treats as they obtained their pictures. One of many orangutans is Karen, the first ape to undergo open-heart surgery in 1994.

Ape vaccination is a welcome improvement at the San Diego Zoo, the place a troop of eight gorillas tested positive for COVID-19 in January. The sick gorillas had been symptomatic however have now recovered, in accordance with the zoo. They’ll seemingly be a part of their orangutan and bonobo compatriots in vaccination later within the spring.

The vaccine the apes acquired just isn’t one of many vaccines which have been approved for people. It was developed by a veterinary pharmaceutical firm after the primary recorded case of COVID-19 in a canine in February 2020. Along with canine and gorillas, minks, home cats, and large cats have additionally been contaminated by the virus.

After the vaccine was confirmed to be protected and efficient for canine and cats, Nadine Lamberski, chief conservation and wildlife well being officer at the San Diego Zoo, determined to begin vaccinating the apes, Nationwide Geographic studies.


Lamberski says it’s widespread to offer vaccines to species which can be totally different from those they had been examined on as a result of they’re developed for particular pathogens, not particular species. The apes haven’t had any hostile reactions, and so they’re being examined for antibodies to see if the vaccine is working. Lamberski’s workforce will proceed amassing and sharing knowledge concerning the vaccine’s effectiveness as extra apes are vaccinated.

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