At the beginning of this year, chimps at the San Diego Zoo in the United States were successively infected with the COVID-19 virus, which sounded a warning bell: In addition to humans, cases of infection in animals should also not be ignored. Subsequently, nine chimps were vaccinated with the experimental non-human new coronavirus vaccine provided by Zoetis in the United States, and there were no major side effects, which triggered heated discussions in other countries.
With the promotion of the new coronavirus vaccine in the United States, some zoos in the United States have also carried out similar vaccination work to protect their animals, especially chimps . Now, a chimpanzee sanctuary in Georgia is also preparing to do the same, planning to inject primates with an experimental new coronavirus vaccine soon, because primates may also be susceptible to coronavirus .
Primates are primates, which are an order of Mammalia. Extant primates are arranged from lower to higher levels, such as tree monkeys, lemurs and tarsiers, monkeys, apes, and including us humans. Humans have developed and differentiated from apes. Therefore, the position of humans in the animal kingdom also belongs to the spirit. Long class.
Primates have a well-developed brain; the orbits face forward, and the orbital distance is narrow; the toes (fingers) of the hands and feet are separated, the thumb is flexible, and most of them can hold the other toes (fingers).
Ali Crumpacker , executive director of the Chimpanzee Conservation Project, said: “After consulting with veterinarians and several other zoo professionals, we believe this is the right decision for us.” There are also some American chimpanzee sanctuary researchers who published on Science . In an article ” US chimp sanctuary is poised to give its primates a COVID-19 vaccine—will others follow its lead? “, they are discussing whether to vaccinate their animals and will pay close attention to the efforts of others. But some people said that, given the other precautions they have taken, they think there is no urgency to do so .
Since the beginning of the pandemic, primatologists have been concerned about chimps in captivity and in the wild. Chimpanzees, chimps, orangutans and bonobos all have angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 , which is a cell surface receptor that SARS-CoV-2 binds to to cause infection .
In addition, in the past, human respiratory infections have destroyed huge populations of great apes. Ecological Health Alliance ( EcoHealth Alliance science and research) is responsible for the vice president Jon Epstein said: “The great apes are susceptible to crown a new virus .” Ecological Health Alliance is committed to the protection of wild animals and humans from pathogens non-profit organization. This infectious disease does have a reasonable protection problem.
To this end, zoos, protected areas and national parks around the world have strengthened measures to protect their chimps from the COVID-19 virus: increasing the number of masks, gloves and other personal protective equipment used, and further restricting contact with these animals . Nevertheless, in January 2021, eight chimps at the San Diego Wildlife Park were infected with the virus, which intensified people’s concerns.
They finally survived, with only a burst of cough and congestion, but this experience made the zoo the first zoo to be vaccinated . Nine orangutans and bonobos were vaccinated in February . These animals received an experimental non-human coronavirus vaccine provided by Zoetis , which was originally the animal department of Pfizer .
These vaccines , like the vaccines injected by Novavax for humans, have been shown to be 90% effective against symptomatic infections in clinical trials . They use the engineered spike protein in SARS-CoV-2 to induce an immune response against the virus. .