Many were surprised, some elated, to see an image of President Nelson receiving the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine which was posted on his Facebook page.
In addition, seven other senior leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning in Salt Lake City. These leaders qualify for the vaccine in Utah because they are over the age of 70.
Here is an excerpt from President Nelson’s Facebook post:
With approval from our physician, my wife, Wendy, and I were vaccinated today against COVID-19. We are very grateful. This was the first week either of us was eligible to receive the vaccine. We are thankful for the countless doctors, scientists, researchers, manufacturers, government leaders, and others who have performed the grueling work required to make this vaccine available. We have prayed often for this literal godsend.
President Nelson then spoke about the remarkable feat creating a vaccine is, referencing Dr. Jonas Salk and his work on producing the polio vaccine. He pointed to the work the Church has done in help people of all nations be immunized in an effort to eliminate disease.
He then shared the following statement: “Receiving the vaccine today was part of our personal efforts to be good global citizens in helping to eliminate COVID-19 from the world.”
Many showered the prophet with comments of thanks for leading by example and trusting in science, while others who aren’t in favor of all vaccines were thrown for a loop. Still others, who aren’t sure who to trust anymore, expressed gratitude to see the choice the brethren made in this regard.
Church Newsroom Statement on Vaccines
On a post issued by the Church Newsroom, the First Presidency released a statement on the importance of vaccines and immunization against preventable diseases. The full statement read:
“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.”
President Oaks was quoted in the same press release from the Church Newsroom, stating: “I’m glad our turn has come to have this vaccination,” President Oaks said Tuesday morning. “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.”