Maryland Zoo in Baltimore to begin vaccinating some animals against COVID-19

The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore says within the next few months it will begin giving the COVID-19 vaccine to some of its animals.

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"We expect to receive the vaccine in the fall from the animal health company Zoetis, which has developed a vaccine specifically for animals," said Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation, and research at The Maryland Zoo in a statement released Tuesday. "We have not had any cases of COVID-19 in the animals here, but the vaccine will add another layer of protection for the animals in our care."


Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

The Zoo says it will focus on specific species that have been proven to be susceptible to COVID-19. Those animals include the North American river otters, the chimpanzees and cat species like the Amur leopard, cheetah, bobcat, and lion.

Bronson said many of the animals have been trained to work with veterinary technicians to receive injections.

Zoetis is donating more than 11,000 doses of its COVID-19 vaccine for animals that will help protect more than 100 mammalian species living in nearly 70 zoos and animal centers. "Once vaccinated, we will monitor the animals very closely for signs of adverse effects as we do with any preventative vaccination given to them," Bronson continued.