ST. LOUIS – A male chimpanzee at the Saint Louis Zoo was vaccinated Wednesday against COVID.
Jimiyu, 29, got his first dose of Zoetis’ COVID-19 vaccine “which has been authorized for use on animals on a case-by-case, experimental basis,” according to the zoo. The zoo said they do not expect Jimiyu to experience any “adverse side effects.”
“The zoo plans to administer the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine in a staged roll-out to almost 100 primates, big cats, river otters, painted dogs and bat-eared foxes, all of which carry a potential risk of being infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease,” the zoo said. “Doses are given three weeks apart and full vaccination is reached two weeks after the second dose.”
“We really believe in keeping our animals healthy, not just treating them when they are sick. Vaccines are nothing new for us. As with every vaccine we administer, we first determine risk of exposure, risk of illness from the disease and potential vaccine side-effects. With cases of coronavirus infection coming up in zoos around the country, we are lucky to be able to give this vaccine to our at-risk patients,” DVM, Director of Animal Health, Saint Louis Zoo, Sathya Chinnadurai said.
“Many of the recently recognized emerging diseases share a connection between humans and animals. Now more than ever, it is important that we recognize that the health of humans, animals and the environment are interconnected and dependent on each other,” DVM, Vice President of Animal Collections, Saint Louis Zoo, Luis Padilla said.