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Saint Louis Zoo anticipates animal COVID-19 vaccine

The Saint Louis Zoo said it will consider vaccinating some animals if it becomes available to them
Credit: KSDK

ST. LOUIS — The coronavirus vaccine for humans came out not too long ago, but when will a vaccine for animals come?

According to a press release from the Saint Louis Zoo, an animal version of the coronavirus vaccine does exist.

The San Diego Zoo announced a few apes received a USDA approved vaccine as part of an experimental program after its gorilla troop tested positive for COVID-19 in January. They were the first nonhuman primates to be vaccinated for the virus.

As listed on the official CDC website, coronavirus has been shown to infect a number of mammals.

The first U.S. case of an animal testing positive for COVID-19 was a tiger at a New York zoo.

As stated by the Saint Louis Zoo, they don’t believe there are any other vaccine doses currently available; but there are companies working on it.

The Saint Louis Zoo said it is eagerly waiting for that moment to come and will most definitely consider it for some of the animals at the zoo. Until then, the zoo plans to continue their holistic animal health management preventative practices to keep its animal care team healthy and safe.

In a previous interview with 5 On Your Side, Saint Louis Zoo Director Michael Macek said the zoo has followed its emergency preparedness and response plan, which includes a contingency for pandemics.

"We're still trying to do as much of what we call 'operant conditioning,' training animals to present themselves so we can take the temperature or something like that," Macek said, adding that the zoo is "always trying to maintain social distancing."