SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging missionaries across the globe to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, but not requiring it.
The faith’s Missionary Department made the latest appeal Friday, asking full-time proselytizers to “safeguard themselves and others,” the Salt Lake Tribune reported.
The release reaffirmed the faith’s policy that people can make their own decisions on vaccinations, but said those who choose not to be immunized will be assigned to a mission in their home country.
Young U.S. missionaries planning to travel outside the country on or after Aug. 1 should be vaccinated before the leave, the release stated. Older senior missionaries may go after they have been vaccinated.
In January, the faith released a statement encouraging members, employees and missionaries to be “good global citizens” by getting inoculated.
Latter-day Saint Charities, the faith’s humanitarian arm, also donated $20 million to UNICEF this year for a worldwide COVID-19 vaccination push.