UPDATED: February 28, 2021
Following the Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has determined that pilots may receive the vaccine but will require recipients of this single-dose vaccine to wait 48 hours before flying as has been policy for the vaccines previously approved from Pfizer and Moderna.
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.