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Leaders Of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints Receive COVID-19 Vaccine

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have received their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Five members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and most of their spouses also received the first dose of the vaccine on Tuesday.

The leaders qualified for the vaccine because they are over the age of 70.

“In word and deed, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has supported vaccinations for generations,” according to a statement from the First Presidency. “As a prominent component of our humanitarian efforts, the Church has funded, distributed and administered life-saving vaccines throughout the world. Vaccinations have helped curb or eliminate devastating communicable diseases, such as polio, diphtheria, tetanus, smallpox and measles. Vaccinations administered by competent medical professionals protect health and preserve life.”

The leaders vaccinated were President Russell M. Nelson and his wife, Wendy; President Dallin H. Oaks and his wife, Kristen; President Henry B. Eyring; President M. Russell Ballard; Elder Jeffrey R. Holland and his wife, Patricia; Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf and his wife, Harriet; Elder Quentin L. Cook and his wife, Mary; and Elder D. Todd Christofferson and his wife, Kathy.

“I’m glad our turn has come to have this vaccination,” President Oaks said . “We’re very hopeful that the general vaccination of the population will help us get ahead of this awful pandemic. It’s hopeful, like the light at the end of the tunnel. There is relief and appreciation involved for those who have invented the vaccine and for those who have caused it to be generally available on a sensible priority system.”

The First Presidency urged Latter-day Saints to be “good global citizens” and help slow the spread of the virus by getting immunized.

Here is the First Presidency’s full statement:

In word and deed, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has supported vaccinations for generations. As a prominent component of our humanitarian efforts, the Church has funded, distributed and administered life-saving vaccines throughout the world. Vaccinations have helped curb or eliminate devastating communicable diseases, such as polio, diphtheria, tetanus, smallpox and measles. Vaccinations administered by competent medical professionals protect health and preserve life.

As this pandemic spread across the world, the Church immediately canceled meetings, closed temples, and restricted other activities because of our desire to be good global citizens and do our part to fight the pandemic.

Now, COVID-19 vaccines that many have worked, prayed, and fasted for are being developed, and some are being provided. Under the guidelines issued by local health officials, vaccinations were first offered to health care workers, first responders, and other high-priority recipients. Because of their age, Senior Church leaders over 70 now welcome the opportunity to be vaccinated.

As appropriate opportunities become available, the Church urges its members, employees and missionaries to be good global citizens and help quell the pandemic by safeguarding themselves and others through immunization. Individuals are responsible to make their own decisions about vaccination. In making that determination, we recommend that, where possible, they counsel with a competent medical professional about their personal circumstances and needs.

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