San Diego Zoo’s great apes get coronavirus vaccines

SAN DIEGO — Great apes at San Diego Zoo are getting something for which many humans have not yet qualified. They’re getting vaccinated against COVID-19.

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Several orangutans and bonobos have received shots to protect them against the coronavirus, CBS News reported.

Karen made history in 1994 by being the first ape to undergo open-heart surgery, National Geographic reported. She was one of the lucky primates to get the vaccine, along with three other orangutans and five bonobos. The treatment developed by the veterinary pharmaceutical company Zoetis is for use on animals, National Geographic reported.

Several gorillas at the zoo had tested positive for COVID-19, but all eight who were confirmed to have gotten the West Coast variant of the virus recovered and were back in public display, CNN reported last month.

An elderly silverback gorilla named Winston was given a monoclonal antibody therapy that was not allowed to be used on humans, along with other treatments. The zoo used the treatments given to the gorillas, intending to understand the virus and how it impacts great apes, CNN reported.

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