Orangutan At San Diego Zoo Makes Medical History By Getting Covid Jab

Orangutan At San Diego Zoo Makes Medical History By Getting Covid Jab. image: twitter

ORANGUTAN At San Diego Zoo Makes Medical History By Getting A Covid Jab

An orangutan called Karen, in San Diego Zoo, made medical history in 1994 when she had open-heart surgery – the first orangutan in the world to undergo the procedure.

Now, she has become the first orangutan in the world to get a Covid-19 vaccine, along with three others, and five bonobos at the zoo, after eight gorillas who had been coughing, believed to have been infected by an asymptomatic zookeeper, tested positive for the virus, the world’s first cases among captive primates.

Nadine Lamberski, San Diego Zoo’s chief conservation and wildlife health officer told National Geographic that the apes had shown no adverse reactions after they had been administered the veterinary pharmaceutical firm Zoetis’s experimental animal vaccine last month.

Karen and the other apes received two doses each of the vaccine, which had previously only been tested on cats and dogs, and Ms Lamberski said, “We commonly use vaccines designed for dogs and cats, for lions and tigers”.

Continuing, “It’s not like we randomly grab a vaccine and give it to a novel species. A lot of thought and research goes into it: what’s the risk of doing it and what’s the risk of not doing it? Our motto is, above all, to do no harm”.

She added, “This isn’t the norm. In my career, I haven’t had access to an experimental vaccine this early in the process, and haven’t had such an overwhelming desire to want to use one”.

Now, officials at the Zoo will wait on the results carried out on blood taken from Karen and one of the bonobos, to establish if the vaccine is working.


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Chris King

Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]


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