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One-month-old white Bengal tiger is vaccinated on July 29, 2021 in Nantong, Jiangsu Province of China. Photo: Xu Peiqin/VCG via Getty Images.

The Maryland Zoo announced Tuesday that it will begin vaccinating certain animals that have been proven to be vulnerable to COVID-19.

Details: The vaccine, which has been specifically modified for animals, will be administered to "North American river otters, the chimpanzees and our cat species – Amur leopard, cheetah, bobcat, and lion," according to the announcement.

  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture and state veterinarian have permitted vaccine use on animals on a case-by-case basis.
  • None of the animals at the zoo have tested positive for COVID-19 but "the vaccine will add another layer of protection for the animals in our care," said Dr. Ellen Bronson, the zoo's senior director of animal health, conservation, and research.

The big picture: Several zoos throughout the country have already administered vaccines to animals, including the San Diego Zoo and the Oakland Zoo.

Go deeper

Sep 17, 2021 - Health

International Mission Board to require COVID vaccine for missionaries

Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

The International Mission Board, which deploys thousands of missionaries, announced that its plans to require COVID-19 vaccinations for those they're sending into the field.

Why it matters: COVID-19 refusal rates are among the highest among white evangelical Christians and the requirement by the International Mission Board may be the first U.S. missionary agency known to have such a mandate.

Sep 18, 2021 - Health

Most Kentucky school boards vote in favor of mask mandates

Photo: Paul Bersebach, MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

A majority of school boards in Kentucky voted in favor of mask mandates, according to the Kentucky School Board Association.

Why it matters: A week ago, Kentucky's Republican-dominated legislature voted to revoke a statewide mask mandate in public schools that was meant to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The decision on masks would instead be left up to individual districts.

The Exvangelicals

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Even as evangelicals maintain their position as the most popular religion in the U.S., a movement of self-described "exvangelicals" is breaking away, using social media to engage tens of thousands of former faithful.

The big picture: Donald Trump's presidency, as well as movements around LGBTQ rights, #MeToo and Black Lives Matter, drew more Americans into evangelical churches while also pushing some existing members away.