From vials to volunteers to a steady stream of vehicles, the clinic in Gig Harbor, Washington, looks like one of the mass vaccination incidents happening today. That is, until you take a closer look at patients like Maise and Gus.
The Maise rabbit is not here and cannot take pictures of COVID. She and dozens of other rabbits came to get the RHDV2 (Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus) vaccine.
Although humans are not affected by this disease, this highly contagious virus is bad news for rabbits.The original RHDV outbreak was discovered in China in the 1980s and wiped out more than 1
Dr. Alicia McLaughlin is the country’s first veterinarian to import vaccines. Since RHDV2 has always been a European disease, no American company has ever produced a vaccine.She must obtain special permission to bring it into the U.S.
She told reporter Kona Knighton: “We have desperate people who call our clinic over and over again, “Hey, we really want to buy this vaccine. Please let us get this vaccine.”
Dr. McLaughlin said: “This vaccine is more than 90% effective, as we learned again from the COVID vaccine, which is really very good. We are very satisfied with this. Considering that the alternative is almost 100% Fatality rate, it is Really Ok. “
Today,. However, since few veterinarians get the vaccine, Find Dosage can still be a test.
Knighton asked: “How far away do people come to shoot?”
“A few hours,” Dr. McLaughlin replied. “I haven’t seen the upper limit of people willing to travel to get vaccines.”
Sue Brennan, owner of the Rabbit Haven rescue organization in Gig Harbor, has been behind the mass vaccination clinic. She showed “Ruth Bunner Ginsburg” to Knighton.
Brennan said: “Rabbits don’t have many champions. I connect soul to soul in some way and do everything possible to make their lives full, beautiful, and happy.”
Through cooperation with local veterinarians, Brennan’s team has performed nearly a thousand injections: “We are trying to do what they did with COVID: vaccinate everyone, stop the spread, stop the disease. People can return to normal , The rabbit can return to normal.”
Rabbits have been under unofficial “stay at home” orders. The virus can linger on surfaces including grass, so they cannot spread out in the yard. They should never be mixed with other rabbits outside of the “pods”.
Currently, the most severe RHDV2 outbreaks occur in the west and southwest, where there are new variants, from domestic rabbits to hares.
In California, the Oakland Zoo, in collaboration with federal and state wildlife agencies, has been testing and vaccinating the endangered riverbank brush rabbits in case the virus spreads to these small tails.
Safety is better than regret, which is why-even though Washington has no confirmed cases for a year-Dr. McLaughlin still regularly vaccinates her patients.
Knighton asked: “When you give these injections, how does it feel if you send out a fully vaccinated rabbit on the way?”
“Ah, I like to do this. It makes me very happy!” she replied. “It’s like I’m kicking a virus in the face! It’s like,’Take that! You can’t take this rabbit away!'”
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The story is edited by Remington Korper.