By Mary Chappell
Chicago (CBS) — Veterinarians have started vaccinating some Brookfield Zoo animals against COVID-19.READ MORE: No Communication With Firefighters Before Baby Was Found Dead Outside Fire Station; Could Baby Boxes Be A Last-Resort Option In Cases Like This?
The vaccine — specifically designed for animals — is being administered by Chicago Zoological Society vets, according to a a press release from the Zoological Society. The first animals scheduled for the shot are those more susceptible to contracting the virus, including primates, small carnivores, the zoo’s animal ambassadors, big cats, and bears.
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The vaccine was donated by Michigan-based animal health company Zoetis. The Zoetis vaccine received investigational authorization by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Illinois state veterinarian, officials said.
Similar to the COVID-19 vaccine for humans, animals will receive two doses three weeks apart and are considered fully protected two weeks following the second dose.
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Once the western lowland gorillas and Rodrigues fruit bats have been fully vaccinated, which is expected to be later this fall, the zoo’s Tropic World: Africa section and Australia House will reopen to guests, officials said.