COVID-19

National Zoo Administers First COVID-19 Vaccines to Animals

Apes and monkeys are among the first to receive their shots.

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Six African lions, a Sumatran tiger and two Amur tigers tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19 after showing symptoms.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo administered the first COVID-19 vaccine shots to susceptible animals this week.

Seven orangutans, one western lowland gorilla, one white-eared titi monkey and two emperor tamarins are among the animals who have received the COVID-19 shots, according to the National Zoo.

The apes and monkeys are being closely monitored by veterinarians and have not demonstrated any side effects so far. All 11 animals will receive a second dose of the vaccine.

The vaccine made specifically for animals was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and made by Zoetis, the largest global animal health company.

The National Zoo will continue to administer vaccines to susceptible species.

Last month, nine big cats tested a presumptive positive for COVID-19 at the National Zoo. Currently all lions and tigers affected are behaving, eating and drinking normally as they continue to recover.

The National Zoo says the lions and tigers will receive the vaccine no sooner than 90 days post-infection.