With the Pfizer vaccine on the verge of full FDA approval, The Detroit Zoo announced and has begun to vaccinate vulnerable animals to protect them from Covid-19. As of yesterday, gorillas, chimpanzees, tigers and lions were the first to receive the vaccines. The vaccine, which was developed exclusively for animals by Kalamazoo veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis, has been authorized on a case-by-case basis by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), according to their press release. Scott Carter, The chief life sciences officer for the Detroit Zoological Society expressed that vaccines aren't an uncommon thing for the zoo animals:

The animals routinely get other vaccinations. Many of the mammals are trained to present themselves to our animal care staff for minor medical procedures, including vaccinations. We’re both thankful and relieved a special vaccine is now available to protect against COVID-19. Much like we vaccinate dogs for things like parvovirus, distemper or rabies, this is needed to protect animals at the Zoo.

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The Binder Park Zoo is was one of the zoos that will be administering doses to their animals as well. Their staff veterinarian Dr. Kim Thompson explained how the doses will be administered and who they'll focus on:

It’s two doses. We will receive one dose and then in another few weeks, we will follow up with their second dose. We’re mainly focusing on our large cats, things like lions and snow leopards, as well as our primates here — so those animals that we know could potentially get COVID-19.

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