Kaiser Health News tells the stories of Colorado, Montana and the rest of the region.

At Risk of Extinction, Black-Footed Ferrets Get Experimental COVID Vaccine

Months before federal officials authorized experimental vaccines to ward off the coronavirus in humans, scientists tried a veterinary vaccine in endangered ferrets. Drugmakers are researching similar efforts for other animals proving vulnerable to the virus, such as farmed minks, in part to guard against virus mutations that could pose new risks to people.

People Proving to Be Weakest Link for Apps Tracking COVID Exposure

Contact tracers in many states are stretched thin. Colorado is among the latest states to launch an app that aims to help, based on the COVID contact-tracing tool built by Apple and Google. But there’s a chicken-and-egg problem: More people will use them if they prove to work, but the apps become effective only if more people use them.