ZooTampa vaccination animals with COVID-19

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ZooTampa vaccination animals with COVID-19

Animals who have been identified as the most susceptible to the virus will receive the vaccine first.

“The animals routinely get other vaccinations. Many of the animals 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 animals against COVID-19, some which are endangered and threatened species.”

Zoo officials said they have received a shipment of approximately 220 doses – enough to vaccinate roughly 19 species which includes 93 animals, WFLA reported.

According to the vaccine rollout schedule developed by ZooTampa, Florida panthers, skunks, otters, and primates will be among the first to receive the vaccine.

Story Highlights

  • The vaccine was developed especially for animals by the veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis, according to a release from the zoo.

  • “The safety and well-being of the more than 1000 animals entrusted to our care is of paramount priority. We have not had any cases of animals contracting COVID-19 at ZooTampa and continue to follow stringent protocols which have been in place since the beginning of the pandemic,” said Dr. Cynthia Stringfield, the senior vice president of Animal Health, Conservation & Education.

“Our expert staff of animal care and medical professionals will continue to monitor our animals throughout the vaccination process closely,” Stringfield said.

The Zoetis vaccine has received investigational authorization from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.