Church encourages missionary vaccinations around globe

Sister Palmer, 19, holds The Book of Mormon while walking around Temple Square in Salt Lake City, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020. Palmer, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is serving an 18-month mission in Salt Lake City while waiting for her visa to continue the mission in Spain. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E)

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 Salt Lake Tribune reports the faith’s Missionary Department made the latest appeal Friday, asking full-time proselytizers to safeguard themselves and others. The statement 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.

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