Kansas State University zoo veterinarians and staff from the Sunset Zoo in Manhattan have joined forces to get many of the zoo’s animals protected against COVID-19.
Sara Gardhouse, assistant professor of exotic pet, wildlife and zoological medicine, said the COVID-19 vaccine for zoo animals is slightly different than the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for humans.
She says the virus in the vaccine is the same as in the human vaccines, but the ingredient used to promote a better immune response is different.
The animal version of the vaccine requires an initial dose, followed by a booster in three weeks.
All Sunset Zoo animals that require protection have received their first dose of vaccine, and the boosters are now being administered.
Gardhouse noted that there have been outbreaks in primates, members of the weasel family, and many cat species in other zoos and facilities.
The Sunset Zoo has not seen any side effects of the vaccine in the animals.