EUGENE, Ore. -- A retired navy service member says he flew all the way to Oregon from Indonesia just to get his COVID-19 vaccine.
Dan Stiff said he flew into Eugene last Friday and was at the vaccine clinic in Lowell the next day. Stiff said he retired and moved to Indonesia about eight years ago. He normally splits his time between Indonesia and the United States. But when the vaccine became available in Indonesia, he said the country wouldn’t give it to him because he wasn’t a citizen. However, he also had trouble getting to the U.S. because Indonesia requires passengers on domestic flights to be vaccinated.
Finally, he worked out a deal with the Indonesian Foreign Ministry to board a flight to the U.S. after showing a negative COVID-19 test.
“The Indonesian Foreign Ministry got an agreement with the U.S. government to allow us to do that domestic flight with just the PCR swab test negative 48 hours prior to the flight. So, I was able to get on the flight to Jakarta and then fly directly here,” Stiff said.
He hopes his long journey inspires others to also get the jab.
“Look what I've done to get the vaccination to try to protect other people and myself from this horrible scourge,” Stiff said. “I came all the way here to get vaccinated. So please America: get vaccinated.”
Stiff said even though the vaccine won’t provide protections for several weeks, he already feels a sense of relief just to have access.