Do animals in NJ need to be vaccinated against COVID mutations?

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With COVID cases on the rise again in New Jersey and around the country, driven by the Delta mutation, scientists are working on vaccines specially designed for animals.

A version of the vaccine is already being shipped to zoos in the United States. Of particular concern is the possible infection of monkeys, gorillas and other endangered primates. Jungle cats are also potentially susceptible to COVID infection.

The first known case of an infected animal in the United States was a tiger in the Bronx Zoo. At the San Diego Zoo, eight gorillas have tested positive for COVID. Great apes are known to be infected with human respiratory viruses, and some scientists are concerned that COVID could further endanger their populations.

But do our pets need to be vaccinated? At this point, it is not clear as there have only been limited studies. There has been rare, sometimes anecdotal, evidence of COVID infection in dogs and cats in other countries. In the UK, a cat tested positive for the virus last July, but health officials said it was a “very rare event”.

In the limited data available, infected animals appear to recover quickly with only mild symptoms. Transmission from a cat or dog to a human has raised concerns, but no such case has been documented. In none of the documented cases was transmission from human to animal, and the CDC says pets do not play a significant role in the spread of COVID to their owners.

For the moment, animal vaccinations remain confined to zoos. Zoos in New York, Denver, and Oakland were the first to inoculate their jungle cats and great apes. Cape May County Zoo officials plan to administer injections to their cats and primates, but have yet to be able to obtain doses of the vaccine.

15 sensational places to visit in Seaside Heights and Seaside Park

From the rides to all the food on the boardwalk and plenty of water fun, Seaside Heights and neighboring Seaside Park has remained a family friendly place for all ages.

Along the way, the Seaside Heights Boardwalk and Casino Pier were hit by tragic disasters, such as a fire, Super Storm Sandy, and another fire. Both have proven their resilience through reconstruction and expansion.

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