Experts are concerned about a lack of monkeys in America as demand has jumped for researchers looking to develop a coronavirus vaccine to end the pandemic, USA Today reports.

  • Researchers will often use monkeys before humans to test a vaccine’s efficacy and safety.
  • But there are more than 100 vaccines in development. So there are a lack of monkeys to help everyone.
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Dr. Skip Bohm, associate director and chief veterinary medical officer of the Tulane National Primate Research Center, told USA Today there isn’t an overwhelming amount of monkeys in a normal year. The pandemic made it worse.

  • “There is a shortage.”
  • “We’ve always been in a state where we were always very close to the level of production to meeting the demand for research, and that has been the status for several years. When the COVID pandemic came about, that just pressed us even further.”

There has been some criticism from the National Primate Research Centers, which has called for researchers to use as few animals as possible in COVID-19 research.

  • Bohm said: “We all hope there’s a day we don’t have to use animals in research but right now … not all humans are going to submit for an examination where they get regular x-rays, regular CT analysis or blood analysis.”
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Research has found monkeys who were infected the novel coronavirus had antibodies that lasted about 28 days, according to a study published in the journal Science.

  • “While the monkeys displayed initial immunity, it’s unclear how long such immunity will last in humans — it will be necessary to wait months, or even years, to know if the millions of people infected at the start of the pandemic are protected from reinfection,” according to MedicalXpress, which reviews studies and research.
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