Lehigh Valley Zoo will use veterinary vaccines to protect its animals from COVID-19

Written by on August 4, 2021

Lehigh Valley Zoo will use veterinary vaccines to protect its animals from COVID-19

By Genesis Ortega

August 4, 2021

SCHNECKSVILLE, Pa. – The Lehigh Valley Zoo will be vaccinating animals against COVID-19. The zoo is among nearly 70 in the U.S. receiving doses of the veterinary vaccine from animal health company Zoetis

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Officials at the zoo in Schnecksville said they will vaccinate their mammals to keep them healthy and prevent COVID-19 from spreading to people. 

Dr. Monica Bando,Captive Wildlife veterinarian for the PETA Foundation, more and more zoo animals are testing positive for the virus. 

“Just as humans are being vaccinated with new, clinically tested experimental vaccines, vulnerable and susceptible non-human species are now also able to receive similarly new and clinically tested vaccines for their protection as well,” Bando said. 

The benefits of vaccination for animals outweigh risking infection by COVID-19, she said. 

“The COVID vaccines that are being administered to animals in zoos, they have been carefully developed specifically for use in animals,” she said..”They have been clinically tested, and have only been administered after careful consideration.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 75% of emerging infectious diseases are spread between animals and people. 

Experimental use of this vaccine has been authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania state veterinarian

The Lehigh Valley Zoo released this statement about the vaccination program:

“The Lehigh Valley Zoo is planning to vaccinate our mammals with an experimental vaccine uniquely made for animals and donated by the animal health company Zoetis. Starting with who we consider high risk for being vulnerable to COVID-19, our onsite veterinary team in conjunction with our animal care staff will begin vaccinating against COVID-19 in addition to continuing the measures put in place at the beginning of the pandemic to help ensure the health and safety of our animal population.

“Our routine preventive health plan includes yearly vaccinations and exams and this vaccine will be another way to safeguard our animals against COVID-19. Experimental use of this COVID-19 vaccine from Zoetis is being authorized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and our state veterinarian. 

“Vaccinating animals is important because healthy animals help keep people healthy, too. At least 75% of emerging infectious diseases have an animal origin, including COVID-19. Now more than ever before, we can all see the important connection between animal health and human health,” it said.

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