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St. Louis Zoo animals begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine

St. Louis Zoo animals begin receiving COVID-19 vaccine

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Chimpanzee at the St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo has begun vaccinating at-risk animals, including chimpanzee Jimiyu, shown here. Photo by JoEllen Toler, St. Louis Zoo

The St. Louis Zoo vaccinated its first animal, a male chimpanzee named Jimiyu, against COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The zoo said it aims to protect the health and well-being of its most at-risk animals from the deadly virus. Jimiyu, a 29-year-old chimp, received his first dose of Zoetis vaccine, which has been authorized for use on animals on a case-by-case, experimental basis.

The vaccine was given along with other immunizations during a regularly scheduled veterinary exam that included cardiac and dental checkups under anesthesia at the Endangered Species Research and Veterinary Hospital at the zoo. Jimiyu is recovering well in a private area at the Jungle of the Apes habitat, according to a press release from the zoo. No adverse side effects are expected, according to zoo veterinarians. As with all veterinary procedures and vaccinations, the chimpanzee will be monitored by the experienced animal care teams.

Over the next few months, the zoo plans to administer the two-dose COVID-19 vaccine in a staged roll-out to almost 100 primates, big cats, river otters, painted dogs and bat-eared foxes, all of which carry a potential risk of being infected by SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. Doses are given three weeks apart and full vaccination is reached two weeks after the second dose.

(Sept. 30, 2021, St. Louis, MO) The Saint Louis Zoo has vaccinated its first animal against COVID-19, a move to protect the health and well-being of its most at-risk animals from the deadly virus. Male chimpanzee “Jimiyu” (pronounced Jimmy-you) received his first dose of Zoetis’ COVID-19 vaccine, which has been authorized for use on animals on a case-by-case, experimental basis.

See more at http://www.stlzoo.org/pressroom

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