ARLINGTON, Va. — Midwest Honor Flight, the organization that sends veterans to Washington, D.C., to experience memorials dedicated to their honor and sacrifice, announced on Friday that once trips resume, proof of full vaccination will be required for Veterans and Guardians who participate.
The flights were postponed in early May 2020 as the coronavirus pandemic spread and are postponed until at least August 15, 2021.
The organization says that veterans who choose to not be vaccinated (or who are not able to be vaccinated) will remain on their “fly list” until the Honor Flight Network removes the mandatory vaccine requirement, and then will be added to flights in the order their applications were received. Guardians who travel with Veterans, along with Flight volunteers, will be required to show proof of vaccination for any flights that take place in 2021 – no exceptions. Midwest Honor Flight says they do not know if this requirement will be extended into 2022.
“Our first priority on every Midwest Honor Flight Mission is the safety of our Veterans, Guardians, and Crew,” says Aaron Van Beek, President of Midwest Honor Flight. “Should we have the chance to fly this fall, we will be implementing these precautions alongside the Honor Flight Network so we can continue to carry out our Mission without forcing Veterans to choose between their health and this once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
It has not been decided at this time about how or when the proof of vaccination will need to be submitted. The organization defines “fully vaccinated” as having received the second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine at least two weeks prior to the flight date, or the single dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine 28 days prior to flight. No information has been released yet about “boosters” of if those would be factored in to the requirement in the future.
Veterans and families with questions about the COVID-19 vaccines are encouraged to watch a free, live webinar hosted by the Honor Flight Network on May 6 at 6 p.m. CST. It will include a presentation by Dr. Jane Kim, Chief Consultant for Preventative Medicine at the V.A.’s National Center for Health Promotion and Prevention. A link to the webinar can be found by clicking here.