North Georgia Sanctuary vaccinates chimpanzees for COVID-19 vaccine
MORGANTON, Georgia. – A chimpanzee sanctuary in Georgia said a donation from an animal health company helped protect some of its primates from the virus that causes COVID-19.
A veterinary care team from Project Chimps, home to 77 chimpanzees retired from medical research, vaccinated some of its residents with a COVID-19 vaccine designed for animals and donated by animal health company Zoetis.
Project Chimps vaccinated a group of chimpanzees who “volunteered” on September 29.
According to a spokesperson for Project Chimps, a chimpanzee named Emma was the first to approach an area where behaviorist Kate Stiles offered her the first of two COVID-19 vaccines.
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Another chimpanzee, Bo, then allowed supervisor Tawnya Williams to inoculate him. A spokesperson said several other chimpanzees attended the first of 15 estimated vaccination sessions to ensure all chimpanzees received both doses of the vaccine, three weeks apart.
“We are proud to help the Project Chimps veterinary team with a vaccine to help protect their chimpanzees from COVID-19,” said Dr. Mahesh Kumar, senior vice president, Global Biologics at Zoetis. “Based on our belief that healthier animals help create a healthier world, we are committed to using our animal health expertise to help solve the sustainability challenges facing animals and humans. Specifically, we aspire to fight the diseases that pose the greatest risk to animals and humans. . “
Project Chimps said the sanctuary had no known cases of animals infected with COVID-19.
“I am so proud of our team for preparing chimpanzees to volunteer for their vaccines,” said Ali Crumpacker, executive director of Project Chimps. “It has been a lot of work and in the long run we will ensure that we have done everything possible to protect the chimpanzees during this pandemic. We could not have focused on these training sessions without the support of our donors who ensure we have the funds to support our staff who in turn take care of the chimpanzees. “
Project Chimps is a privately funded sanctuary in the Blue Ridge Mountains and its residents range from 10 to 41 years old. The home of ancient laboratory chimpanzees provides a habitat for them to feed, play and socialize outdoors, as do wild chimpanzees. .
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