Interview: First apes at US zoo receive COVID-19 vaccine made for animals, zoo official says


A group of bonobos who were recently vaccinated against coronavirus disease (COVID-19) according to the San Diego Zoo on March 4, 2021, are seen at the zoo in San Diego, California in picture taken in August 22, 2018 file photo. [Photo/Agencies]

LOS ANGELES - Nine great apes at the San Diego Zoo have received a COVID-19 vaccine made for animals, which were the first known non-human primates to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States, a zoo official said Tuesday.

The vaccine, offered by American veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis, is a recombinant purified spike protein vaccine, intended for use in protecting animals against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Darla Davis, senior public relations representative at the San Diego Zoo, told Xinhua in an interview.

The vaccine was administered to four of the orangutans and five of the bonobos starting in January, continuing through February.

The vaccine doses originated from a supply strictly intended for nonhuman use, Davis said.

Each animal received two doses, about three weeks apart. The animals that have received the vaccine are doing well and showed no adverse reactions from the vaccine, Davis said.

The vaccinations followed a January outbreak of COVID-19 at the zoo's Safari Park. Eight western lowland gorillas got the virus, probably by exposure to a zookeeper who tested positive for COVID-19.

San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance veterinarians identified some of the great apes were most at risk and could be easily vaccinated, including members of the bonobo troop and orangutan troop, Davis said.

The gorilla troop at the Safari Park, who were infected with COVID-19 in January and now fully recovered, did not receive the vaccine as they were exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and zoo researchers assumed their own immune systems have developed antibodies to the virus, Davis told Xinhua.

The zoo will administer the last few vaccine doses to primates, including gorillas, in March, she said.

2021年3月4日,圣地亚哥动物园称,一群倭黑猩猩最近接种了冠状病毒疫苗(新冠肺炎),照片摄于2018年8月22日,摄于加利福尼亚州圣地亚哥动物园。[图片/机构]洛杉矶——一名动物园官员周二称,圣地亚哥动物园的九只大型类人猿接种了为动物制造的新冠肺炎疫苗,这是美国已知的第一只接种新冠肺炎疫苗的非人灵长类动物。圣地亚哥动物园高级公关代表达拉·戴维斯(Darla Davis)在接受新华社采访时表示,这种疫苗由美国兽医制药公司Zoetis提供,是一种重组纯化尖峰蛋白疫苗,旨在用于保护动物免受导致新冠肺炎的SARS-CoV-2病毒的感染。从一月份开始,疫苗被注射到四只猩猩和五只倭黑猩猩身上,一直持续到二月份。戴维斯说,疫苗剂量来自严格用于非人类用途的供应。每只动物接受两次剂量,大约间隔三周。戴维斯说,接受疫苗的动物表现良好,没有显示出疫苗的不良反应。疫苗接种是在一月份动物园野生动物园爆发新冠肺炎疫情后进行的。八只西部低地大猩猩感染了这种病毒,可能是由于接触了一名新冠肺炎病毒检测呈阳性的动物园管理员。戴维斯说,圣地亚哥动物园野生动物联盟的兽医发现一些类人猿风险最大,很容易接种疫苗,包括倭黑猩猩群体和猩猩群体的成员。戴维斯告诉新华社,野生动物园的大猩猩部队今年1月感染了新冠肺炎病毒,现已完全康复,但由于暴露于SARS-CoV-2病毒,它们没有接种疫苗,动物园研究人员认为它们自己的免疫系统已经产生了针对该病毒的抗体。她说,动物园将在三月份对包括大猩猩在内的灵长类动物注射最后几剂疫苗。

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