Zoetis donates animal COVID-19 vaccine candidate to about 70 U.S. zoos

July 2 (Reuters) - Animal health company Zoetis Inc said on Friday it had donated over 11,000 doses of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine to nearly 70 zoos across the United 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 respective state veterinarians, the company said.

Zoetis, which has provided the vaccine to zoos across 27 U.S. states, supplied it to the San Diego Zoo earlier this year for use in the zoo’s great apes following an outbreak that infected several members of a troop of gorillas.

Animals including Asiatic lions in India and a tiger at the Bronx Zoo in New York City have tested positive for COVID-19, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said here it does not yet know if all animals can get infected.

Zoetis said the Oakland Zoo in Northern California received their first shipment of vaccines on June 29 and tigers, black and grizzly bears, mountain lions and ferrets were the first to receive the first of two doses.

In addition to zoos, Zoetis’ vaccine will be used in over 100 mammalian species in more than a dozen conservatories, sanctuaries, academic institutions and government organizations, the company said.

Reporting by Manojna Maddipatla in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi