Karen, the first orangutan in the world to receive an open-heart surgery has once again created history by receiving the coronavirus vaccine, following a Covid outbreak in a California zoo. Apart from Karen, three other orangutans and five bonobos were also inoculated after eight gorillas were tested positive for coronavirus. These gorillas developed severe cough recently, and their test results came out positive.
How coronavirus vaccine was administered?
While administering the vaccine, zookeepers distracted these animals by offering them treats. According to reports, zoo authorities have inoculated these animals using the jab developed by pharmaceutical firm Zoetis. Until now, this experimental animal vaccine has been used only in cats and dogs, and experts believe that the vaccines could be administered on lions and tigers too.
Will the coronavirus vaccine trigger adverse reactions among animals?
Nadine Lamberski, San Diego Zoo's chief conservation, and wildlife health officer revealed that there were no adverse reactions to the jab, and the animals who received the shot are doing well. Karen and other animals have now received two shots of Covid-19 vaccine.
"We commonly use vaccines designed with dogs and cats for lions and tigers. It's not like we randomly grab a vaccine and give it to a novel species. A lot of thought and research goes into it: what's the risk of doing it and what's the risk of not doing it? Our motto is, above all, to do no harm," Lamberski told National Geographic.
According to experts, an asymptomatic zookeeper might have spread coronavirus among animals in the zoo. After administering the Covid-19 vaccine, experts checked the blood of Karen and bonobos and noted that these animals are developing antibodies, which indicates that the vaccine has started working in their bodies.