Brookfield Zoo giving its animals COVID-19 vaccine


CHICAGO, Ill. (WTVO) — COVID-19 vaccines are now being given at Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo, but they’re not for the visitors.

Among those who will get the shots are primates, big cats, and bears.

Just like with the human vaccine, animals will receive two doses, three weeks apart.

Each vaccinated animal will also be monitored afterward, to make sure they stay healthy.

Zoo veterinarians say some species are more susceptible to contracting the virus.

“It’s those individual cases that have given us concern,” said Dr. Mike Adkesson, Vice President of Clinical Medicine for the Chicago Zoological Society. “We’ve seen cases in a few different big cat species and a few different apes that definitely have symptomatic in terms of the disease and that we’re really trying to head off that from becoming a bigger concern.”

The zoo plans to vaccinate more than 300 of its mammals in all. The version of the vaccine in use was designed specifically for animals and was donated to the zoo.

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