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COVID-19 vaccines and treatments typically get tested in monkeys before being given to humans, but now, those primates are in short supply, The Atlantic reported.

Prior to the pandemic, the U.S. was already approaching a potential monkey shortage, according to a 2018 report from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The authors of the report proposed establishing a “strategic monkey reserve” in order to meet future demand, and to provide a buffer in case of “unpredictable disease outbreaks,” according to The Atlantic. No reserve was ever established, and when COVID-19 emerged in late 2019, the demand for monkeys skyrocketed worldwide.

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