TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – We all know that people aren’t the only ones that can catch COVID-19, animals can too! ZooTampa recently announced they will be vaccinating some of their animals in an effort to protect them against the virus.
Officials at ZooTampa say they have a full list of species that are most susceptible to COVID-19, and that’s the order they are going to go in to vaccinate every animal. One of the first species to get vaccinated is called the binturong and zoo officials say they are monitoring each animal closely after vaccination.READ MORE: Body Found In Pasco County Identified As Kathleen Moore
Dr. Cynthia Stringfield is ZooTampa’s animal health expert and says “We’re learning more every day because more studies are being done and more cases are happening, which people have heard about in other zoos.”
Dr. Stringfield ays as of Thursday, the zoo started vaccinated animals most susceptible to COVID-19, at the top of the list are orangutans, lemurs, binturong, tigers, and skunks.
“The other one is the deer family, which was a surprise to all of us.,” said Dr. Stringfield.
When it comes to animals getting the COVID-19 vaccine, you may have a few questions, like is it safe? Dr. Stringfield, says it is.
“It’s not a human vaccine and it’s technology that has been used with animals for many many years,” said Dr. Stringfield.READ MORE: International Travelers Face New COVID-19 Requirements
How effective is the vaccine? Dr. Stringfield says right now they don’t know how well the vaccine will work, but they’re giving it a try.
“All of us zoos are talking to each other and sharing this information so we can move forward and figure that out,” said Dr. Stringfield.
The zoo has a total of 220 doses of the vaccine, donated for free from a global animal health company called Zoetis.
“There is no one who takes care of these animals at the zoo who is more protective about them than us,” said Stringfield.
Dr. Stringfield says so far 30 animals have received a first dose of the vaccine and none have had any reactions to the shot and those animals on the list will be given a second dose in about a month.
“We may be adding more animals to the list as we start to learn about more species that are susceptible that we didn’t think are susceptible,” said Dr. Stringfield.MORE NEWS: Sarasota Shop With A Cop Coming December 11
Medical leaders at the zoo say they plan to have a total of 93 animals vaccinated within the next two months