Pilots must wait 48 hours after receiving COVID-19 vaccine


With the approval of the COVID-19 vaccinations from both Pfizer and Moderna, FAA recently published its policy with respect to FAA medical validity following the vaccine and has determined pilots must wait 48 hours after receiving the vaccine before exercising the privileges of their certificate.

“Holders of FAA-issued Airman Medical Certificates or Medical Clearances may receive the [Pfizer and Moderna] COVID-19 vaccine; however, a 48-hour no fly/no safety related duty interval must be observed after each dose.”

Because the vaccines require two doses for maximum effectiveness, this waiting period applies after each dose.

The FAA anticipates taking no additional measures to ensure safety after the initial window for side effects closes; however, medical professionals will continuously monitor the initial distribution and documented clinical results and will adjust these recommendations as needed.

The FAA will evaluate vaccines from other manufacturers as they receive FDA authorization in the coming weeks and months and will advise pilots of any waiting periods required for those vaccines.

FMI: FAA.gov.

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It was his first airplane trip at age seven that made Eric decide to become a pilot. "While boarding the airplane, a flight attendant noticed my interest in the flight deck and urged me to go talk to the pilot. I give a lot of credit to that pilot for my career choice." He earned a bachelor’s degree in finance and went on to an airline career. Eric now heads Sporty’s flight school and directs the University of Cincinnati’s Professional Pilot Training Program. In addition, Eric serves as a Captain in Sporty’s corporate flight department.