Sep 17, 2021 - Health

International Mission Board to require COVID vaccine for missionaries

A volunteer draws a solution into a syringe as she practices intramuscular injections during vaccinator training to prepare volunteers to be deployed.

Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

The International Mission Board, which deploys thousands of missionaries, announced that its plans to require COVID-19 vaccinations for those they're sending into the field.

Why it matters: COVID-19 refusal rates are among the highest among white evangelical Christians and the requirement by the International Mission Board may be the first U.S. missionary agency known to have such a mandate.

The big picture: The policy from the International Mission Board applies to both current and future missionaries as well as some staff members.

  • The International Mission Board said the vaccine mandate was implemented for health concerns and the fact that more countries are implementing their own vaccine requirements.
  • The board acknowledged that the policy may result in some field personnel and staff members choosing not to join, to take a leave of absence or to discontinue their employment with the board because of the requirement.
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