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ZOETIS DONATES COVID-19 VACCINES TO HELP SUPPORT HEALTH OF ZOO ANIMALS
Source: Zoetis news release

PARSIPPANY, N.J.--Zoetis is donating more than 11,000 doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to help protect the health and well-being of more than 100 mammalian species living in nearly 70 zoos, as well as more than a dozen conservatories, sanctuaries, academic institutions and government organizations located in 27 states.

The vaccine has been authorized for experimental use on a case by case basis by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the appropriate state veterinarians. The vaccine deployment to dozens of zoos follows Zoetis' response in January to a request from the San Diego Zoo following confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the gorillas at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park.

Receiving their first shipment of vaccines on June 29, Oakland Zoo in Northern California quickly assembled their veterinary and animal care teams to begin vaccinations of their highest at risk animals the following morning. Tigers, Black bears, Grizzly bears, Mountain lions and ferrets were the first to receive their first of two doses. Next are primates, including Chimpanzees, Fruit bats, and pigs.

"Up until now, we have been using public barriers at certain habitats to ensure social distancing, along with enhanced PPE worn by staff to protect our susceptible species from COVID-19. We're happy and relieved to now be able to better protect our animals with this vaccine, and are very thankful to Zoetis for not only creating it, but for donating it to us and dozens of other AZA-accredited zoos across the U.S.," said Dr. Alex Herman, VP of Veterinary Services at Oakland Zoo.

"Zoetis has a long history of supporting zoo veterinarians and the animals in their care," said Dr. Mike McFarland, Chief Medical Officer at Zoetis. "We are proud that our innovative research and development work and vaccine donations can help veterinary professionals within the zoo community continue to provide a high standard of care to the primates, big cats, and many other species they care for and reduce the risk of COVID-19."

COVID-19 vaccine designed for animals

Zoetis' research and development team, headquartered in Kalamazoo, Michigan, applied decades of experience developing other coronavirus vaccines for cats, dogs, poultry and cattle. Zoetis' COVID-19 vaccine is uniquely formulated for animal species. Although the virus - or antigen - is the same as in human vaccines, vaccines for animals vary based on the carrier - or adjuvant - that is used. The unique combination of antigen and carrier ensures safety and efficacy for the species in which a vaccine is used. To further support veterinarians', Zoetis also developed and validated feline and canine-specific real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) diagnostic tests to detect SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19).

"When the first dog was infected with COVID-19 in Hong Kong last year, we immediately began to work on a vaccine that could be used in domestic animals, and in eight months we completed our initial safety studies, which we presented at the World One Health Congress last year. While thankfully a COVID-19 vaccine is not needed in pets or livestock at this time, we are proud that our work can help zoo animals at risk of COVID-19," said Mahesh Kumar, Senior Vice President, Global Biologics at Zoetis.

"More than ever before, the COVID-19 pandemic put a spotlight on the important connection between animal health and human health, and we continue to monitor for emerging infectious diseases that can impact animals as well as people."

Combating Emerging Infectious Diseases

Based on the belief that healthier animals help create a healthier world, Zoetis is committed to using its innovation expertise in animal health to help solve sustainability challenges facing animals and people. One of the company's goals within its Driven to Care long-term sustainability initiative is to combat diseases that pose the greatest risk to animals and humans.

Through its Center for Transboundary and Emerging Diseases (CTED), Zoetis has developed vaccines for high-impact emerging diseases around the world including Avian Influenza, Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, Schmallenberg Virus, Hendra Virus and Canine Influenza. The Center continues to work on vaccines for Foot and Mouth Disease and African Swine Fever.

Through the CTED, Zoetis is watching approximately 200 diseases identified by the WHO as zoonotic, including Avian Influenza, Rabies, Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, and SARS-CoV-2. According to the World Health Organization, 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.

About Zoetis

As the world's leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. After nearly 70 years innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect, and treat animal illness, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide - from livestock farmers to veterinarians and pet owners. The company's leading portfolio and pipeline of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics, and technologies make a difference in over 100 countries. In 2020, Zoetis generated revenue of $6.7 billion with ~11,300 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetis.com.


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