11:07 AM PDT, July 3, 2021
If coronavirus vaccines for animals were readily available, would you give them to your beloved pets? They may be available soon as employees at the Oakland Zoo in California are administering experimental vaccines to their furry residents.
Lions, tigers, bears, and ferrets are the first of 100 animals that will get the doses, according to the New York Times.
11,000 doses of the vaccines were donated by a veterinary company called Zoetis to 70 zoos, universities, sanctuaries, and animal conservations sites all over the U.S.
“It means a lot more safety for our beautiful animals,” Dr. Alex Herman, vice president of veterinary services at the Oakland Zoo, said. “Our very first animals to get vaccinated at the zoo were two of our beautiful and elderly tigers.”
Because these particular vaccines are for animals, they go through a different approval process than human versions, so they can not be used for humans.
So far, there have been no COVID-19 cases at this zoo, but there have been incidents in other parts of the world. But Herman points out that the Oakland Zoo staff has been diligent on wearing protective gear and keeping their animals safe.
So far, there is no evidence that pets can give the virus to humans. Also, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has not considered any vaccines for dogs or cats.