COVID-19

Kzoo company develops COVID vaccine … for animals

Animal health company Zoetis is donating thousands of doses to zoos and sanctuaries.

There is a brand new COVID-19 vaccine on the horizon – one developed in Kalamazoo. The difference between this and the Pfizer vaccine? This one is geared toward animals.

There have been numerous incidences of animals contracting COVID-19. While not as widespread as in the human population, the coronavirus still poses a health threat to other mammals.

That’s why Kalamazoo-based animal pharmaceutical company Zoetis initially began developing a vaccine for pets. Since then, the company has moved into targeting non-domesticated animals.

“There’s always a human and animal interface in zoos. People are coming in contact with them,” said Mahesh Kumar, senior vice president of global biologics for Zoetis, in an interview with WWMT. “And more than humans getting it, we also want to make sure that the humans don’t transfer it to these endangered animals.”

Zoetis has gotten an experimental vaccine permit from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The company plans to donate 11,000 doses to zoos, conservatories, and animal sanctuaries throughout the U.S.

Among the recipients will be the Binder Park Zoo in Battle Creek. Veterinarians there plan to start by inoculating their population of lions.

You can read more here.