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WASHINGTON D.C.Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers may now receive Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine, with appropriate precautions following the Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The FAA has determined that pilots and Air Traffic Controllers may receive the vaccine under the conditions of their FAA-issued airman medical certification.


To maintain the highest level of safety, the agency will require pilots with medical certifications or air traffic controllers with medical clearances to observe a period of 48 hours following the administration of each dose of this vaccine before conducting safety-sensitive aviation duties, such as flying or controlling air traffic.


Because the vaccine requires two doses, 28 days apart for maximum effectiveness, the waiting period applies after each dose. The Pfizer vaccine, which was approved last week, requires two doses 21 days apart, but the waiting period after each dose applies to both brands.


The FAA anticipates taking no additional measures to ensure safety after the initial window for side effects closes. However, the agency’s medical professionals will continuously monitor the initial distribution of the novel vaccine 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 and air traffic controllers of any waiting periods required for those vaccines.


The FAA encourages Americans to receive COVID-19 vaccinations as authorized by the FDA. This policy announcement pertains to a specialized group of FAA-certificated persons who perform safety-sensitive aviation duties.

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