CORONAVIRUS

Church Encourages Missionaries To Get COVID-19 Vaccine

Apr 23, 2021, 9:58 AM | Updated: 7:06 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Missionaries and prospective missionaries have been encouraged to safeguard themselves and others by getting a COVID-19 vaccine. In a release, leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said those who do not will be assigned to serve in their home countries.

The Missionary Department of the Church sent a message to members Friday as COVID-19 vaccines are becoming available in many places worldwide.

“Under the direction of their mission leaders, mission medical coordinators are monitoring the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in their mission and informing missionaries when they may receive it,” officials said. “Young missionaries in the United States who will travel to a mission outside their home country on or after Aug. 1, 2021, should be vaccinated before traveling. Senior missionaries may travel to their assigned mission, where visa and travel conditions permit, after they have been vaccinated.

“Missionaries who have begun a COVID-19 vaccination series should complete it before traveling,” the release said.

KSL-TV spoke with three friends from Northern Utah all making final preparations for their missions.

Sam Gibby was headed to France for his mission.

“I was super stoked when I received the call. I couldn’t really believe it,” he said,

Eli Langeveld is headed to South America.

“I’m so excited to be able to go and serve the people in Argentina,” he said.

Jett Child won’t be quite as far south.

“Panama, actually,” he said.

Each of them planned to do whatever is required to make it to their assigned countries.

“I’m thinking with this new announcement that missionaries have to be vaccinated, that will help open up the borders for all of these countries and that we’ll be able to go and serve the people that we were called to serve,” Langeveld said.

He and Gibby have already been given their first doses. Child was making arrangements for his.

“I don’t think there can be any harm from it. I think it’s almost a necessary thing for us as we go into people’s houses and encountering with so many people,” Child said.

 

Officials said missionaries who choose not to receive their required immunizations, which now includes COVID-19 vaccines, will be assigned to a mission in their home country, in accordance with existing Church policies.

“As the COVID-19 vaccination becomes more widely available in other countries, these missionaries will be asked to be vaccinated before leaving their home country,” they said.

The Church has recognized the importance of vaccinations and immunization for decades.

“We urge members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to protect their own children through immunization,” the First Presidency said in 1978.

Members of the First Presidency received their first COVID-19 vaccine doses on Jan. 19, along with five members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and most of their wives.

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

“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,” they said. “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.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Coronavirus

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - SEPTEMBER 09: A pharmacist prepares to administer  COVID-19 vaccine booster sho...
Jed Boal

University Health recommends getting omicron booster and flu shot now

The CDC approved the COVID-19 bivalent boosters that target the most recent omicron variants on September 1. Since then, tens of thousands of Utahns have rolled up their sleeves.
8 days ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
Jed Boal

Despite reaching 5,000 deaths, Utah’s COVID-19 numbers are down

The director of the World Health Organization said yesterday about COVID-19, “the end is in sight,” even if we are not there yet.
19 days ago
FILE PHOTO (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

WHO: COVID end ‘in sight,’ deaths at lowest since March 2020

The head of the World Health Organization says the number of coronavirus deaths last week was the lowest reported number in the pandemic since March 2020, marking what could be a turning point in the years-long global outbreak.
19 days ago
A school classroom with chairs and desks...
Brooke Williams

Project to provide air purifiers in Utah K-12 classrooms

Cleaner air improves student performance, decreases COVID transmission and school absenteeism. New project provides air purifiers for classrooms in Utah.
20 days ago
SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 08: People walk by a closed store at a neighborhood designated as a medium-r...
Laura He, CNN Business

Zero- COVID-19 at what price? Chinese researchers are treading on sensitive ground

Authorities in Shanghai have denied a report by a leading Chinese real estate research firm that claimed more than a third of shops in a major mall had been shuttered because of strict COVID-19 curbs.
22 days ago
FILE: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 (left) and Moderna COVID-19 (right) vaccines are seen at a vaccinati...
LAURA UNGAR AP Science Writer

Is COVID-19 winding down? Scientists say no

New booster shots have arrived and social distancing guidelines have eased but COVID-19 infections aren't going away anytime soon. Experts predict the scourge that's already lasted longer than the 1918 flu pandemic will linger far into the future as the virus continues to cause deaths and may well mutate or evolve into a new disease.
26 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Church Encourages Missionaries To Get COVID-19 Vaccine