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FAA Reviewing Whether Pilots Can Take COVID Vaccine

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The FAA says it hasn’t yet determined whether pilots will be able to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and keep their medicals. (www.avweb.com) 更多...

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ajagostini
ajagostini 33
I'm no doctor, but...oh wait, I am a doctor. I understand the lack of a concrete answer at this time from the FAA but common sense would dictate that in those who cross time zones and borders for a living, the risk benefit ratio would be in favor of the vaccine vs. performing such duties with risk of contracting the true disease. I would bet a dollar that if the FDA panel finds no glaring safety issue, approval will be granted. When I was a USAF flight surgeon, we stuck some pretty nasty vaccines in our aircrew...including my own backside...and all was well in the end (pun intended).
RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck 9
I'm sure the FAA, along with ICAO, EASA, etc. is working closely with the CDC, FDA, and other Federal agencies with respect to airmen getting Covid-19 vaccinations. The agency has not yet revealed its plans for use of the various vaccines, the agency may include some general precautions about a short waiting time, such as between 24 hours and 72 hours, after taking the vaccine before flying to ensure there are no side effects.

The agency has, in the past, sometimes recommended that pilots schedule waiting periods after taking a vaccine (e.g flu, tetanus, shingles, hepatitis B, Cholera, etc.) but geeting a vaccine is not a disqualifying event. Unless there is something truly unique about the Covid vaccine in terms of the side effects I would expect that the FAA would take the same posture. Based on my information the FAA seems to have approached the Covid-19 virus, for the most part, as it has other viruses such as the flu. Also based on what I've read and heard the FAA has been consistent with how they’ve treated things in the past. Any new drug, vaccine, or other medical procedure always gets reviewed by the doctors, researchers and scientist at the FAA's Civil Aerospace Medical Institute in Oklahoma City. As well as the medical staff at FAA headquarters in Washington along with the aforementioned players.

Regarding influenza vaccine, for example, the FAA has no restrictions other than common sense. Airmen should ground themselves for one half-hour after receiving influenza vaccine, just to make sure they do not have any acute allergic reactions. As for the use of the anti-influenza medications (e.g. Tamiflu (oseltamivir) or Relenza (zanamivir)), neither medication is disqualifying, per se according to the FAA. When used for prophylaxis, it could be prudent to not fly for 48-72 hours after starting the medication to ensure the airman does not have any adverse reactions to the medication. When used for treatment of influenza infection, then the airman should not fly until symptoms are resolved and afebrile for at least 24 hours without the use of antipyretics. Pilots must always abide with the regulations (i.e. 14 CFR 61.53) prohibition against exercising the privileges of their pilot certificate during medical deficiency – symptoms of influenza or medication side-effects do constitute a medical deficiency.

I am confident that once the FAA's Federal Air Surgeon has confirmed that receiving the Covid-19 vaccine does not affect a pilot’s medical certificate and confirmed that receipt of the vaccine is not cause for grounding for any duration then individuals who have been immunized with one of the Covid1-19 vaccines will not be disqualified from performing civilian airman duties so long as they do not experience significant side effects that would otherwise be considered disqualifying.

Best Regards

J Buck
Airman Medical Certificate holder (for 55+ years.)
jbsimms
James Simms 13
I (& over 500,000 US troops) had all kinds of ‘experimental’ drugs given to us (to include daily Pyridostigmine Bromide tablets) prior to Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm. A lot of us had debilitating effects from those drugs & exposure. Going to be a long time before I’ll take one.
paultrubits
paul trubits 5
The Pyridostigmine was to protect you from the effects of "Nerve Gas". It's real use is to decrease muscle weakness from myasthenia gravis.
Andromeda2017
Andromeda2017 6
Bit of a difference between a medicine approved by numbers regulatory bodies around the world and what they get up to in military settings. Vaccines available ( when approved ) for the general population cannot be classified as "experimental drugs" similar to the context you are relating.
Andromeda2017
Andromeda2017 2
" numberous" not numbers. Stupid predictive text!
Andromeda2017
Andromeda2017 0
And again!
IAOA
IAOA 0
My son is in the Air Force. I've urged him NOT to get one claiming religious beliefs. I believe those troops in Desert Storm were part of an experiment. Messing with RNA and causing our MEN to become sterile or having children with birth defects. NO THANKS UNCLE SAM.
ajagostini
ajagostini 3
Your concerns are certainly valid. The impetus for the development of the vaccines we will have available to us is certainly different than the agents developed and used for military purposes such as protection from biologic and chemical agents. I support any hesitation to take the vaccine for such concerns. At the same time, we all need to observe the big picture as thousands and soon millions of people worldwide undergo vaccination. If no such adverse effects are seen, the more that receive it the better for all, including those close to you.

I hope you and yours stay safe and healthy.
saso792
saso792 7
I'm thinking that most of them don't have the FAA on speed dial and won't tell the FAA if they do get vaccinated.
patt46
paul patten 4
Years ago the FAA wanted pilots to report any past DUIs so they could "update their files". I wonder how that worked?
RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck 1
The FAA still asks that question on the Medical Application Form 8500-8 Section 17.b.(now automated). It did, and does, work well. The applicant has to agree that the FAA can query the National Driver's Registry. A National Directory maintained by NHTSA which contains a list of drivers who whose privileges to operate a motor vehicle has been revoked, suspended, canceled or denied or who have been convicted of serious traffic-related offenses. The records maintained at the NDR consist of identification information including name, date of birth, gender, driver license number, and reporting State. Based on information received where an individual's driver status and history information is maintained the FAA then further queries the NDR system and if the FAA Medical Certificate applicant is found to have a DUI (or other traffic related conviction) then the FAA invites the applicant to come in for an interview to discuss the situation and whether he or she should be denied a medical. When it comes to drug and alcohol convictions the FAA has no sense of humor. Like I said it worked well. And still does.

Best

Capt. J Buck
FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (Ret.)
patt46
paul patten 4
The question was....how did the FAA's request for pilots to voluntary turn themselves in to the FAA work out. I think that the answer is that no one would be that foolish.
gaitherj
John Gaither 10
Clinical trials are one thing. Requiring a waiting period of 24 hours or so when mostly minor side effects have occurred is common sense. The only serious side effects of very rare allergic reactions have occurred within minutes. But even making it an issue as to whether a pilot may take an approved vaccine against a deadly disease that is spreading in pandemic fashion is a good example of bureaucracy run amok. As the vaccine rolls out into the general population, long term side effects could become evident; but there is not the slightest evidence that these effects would be suddenly incapacitating.
chugheset
chugheset 11
This has got to be the ultimate irony. One the one hand you've got airlines like QANTAS requiring passengers be vaccinated against COVID to fly, while the FAA is telling pilots if you DO get vaccinated you can't fly! Make up your mind people...
RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck 6
""... the FAA is telling pilots if you DO get vaccinated you can't fly!..."

Perhaps you're just reading that into the story. I don't believe the FAA has said that have they?
wettej01
wettej01 2
This really seems like much ado about nothing. The FDA hasn’t approved it yet so like any experimental treatment, the FAA is also going to have a say in whether you can fly; just like any drug. Now, let’s revisit this if the FAA goes a different direction than the FDA does on approval. Until then, just monitoring.
joelwiley
joel wiley 2
Late breaking news:
https://www.freightwaves.com/news/faa-clears-pilots-to-receive-pfizer-covid-19-vaccine
bobkamman
Bob Kamman 5
Turbulence in a teapot. The FAA is waiting for FDA approval. In the UK, people with allergies (medicine or food) are already being advised not to get the Pfizer German/Turkish shot, and that's just after a day of use. An interesting question is whether British and other European pilots from countries that already have approval, are allowed to fly to US airports. Not to mention, those with Russian and Chinese injections.
wtwisniewski
wtwisniewski 4
Air crews, actually all travelling public should get vaccinated with priority because air travel enabled the pandemic and is helping to maintain it.

Look at the pandemic as a million casualty accident and apply the Swiss Cheese model to analyse it: rapid mobility of people via air travel is one giant hole in the spatial spreading slice. Other holes are/were inappropriate or late political responses, minimal and late biological surveillance, lack of preparation in the form of PPE stockpiles, testing technologies, respirators, etc., and lack of a uniform global plan to effectively and immediately halt pandemics.

The many persistent consequences of a Covid-19 infection are disqualifying conditions that pilots need to avoid at all cost. The virus attacks and damages most organs in the body causing persistent disability - bad news for any airman.
A6SEA
Bill Butler 1
Yes. If only the guvment had shut down air travel in 1918, that ol' Spanish Flu would never had a chance!
dcarter2080
David Carter 0
Take prophylactic dosage of Hydroxychloriquine + zinc & vit D and forget the vaccine. See www.americasfrontlinedoctors.com, hover mouse on "Covid-19" in top line of links & click "Hydroxychloriquine", then scroll down & click on "The Truth about Hydroxychloroquine" which is the link to the White Paper covering pretty much everything Pro and (criminally or un-ethically) Con.
G2Hamilton
Concern would be for long-term disability from chronic disease (or death) such that airman's career could come to end - an issue not addressed in current evaluation. If that were to happen, if vaccine injury court were not to allow settlement, or if vaccine injury fund became bankrupt, or financially challenged, and not bailed out with taxpayer monies, it could result in a case of sooo sad, tooo bad with the poor airman viewed as "collateral damage" or forced to wait for legislative change to allow compensation - an unenviable outcome.
mbrews
mbrews 3
Ludicrous. Stay in your lane, FAA. The pilots will choose and decide for themselves.
RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck -2
Sorry it doesn't work that way. The FAA has medical standards (see 14 CFR Part 67) and it expects pilots to abide by them. But then I don't expect that you knew that did you.

Best
mbrews
mbrews -2
Shift your gaze out of CFR and re-read the Congressional reports about 737MAX debacle. They point out the less-than-stellar quality contribution from FAA reviews (rubber stamping) in particular by the Seattle field office.

Pilots are at risk of contracting Covid DAILY. For that matter, the Brits are using the vaccine NOW for medical personnel, including ER and surgeons. Of course, the surgeons must just be stupid ; their skill is nowhere as important as magenta pilots

Whats really ironic is that the US airlines are continuing to haul people around the USA for Thanksgiving and likely Christmas holiday, very efficiently transmitting Covid among regions. We suppose you will doubtless quote us the CFR and regulations about THAT REALITY

RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck 3
"...We suppose you will doubtless quote us the CFR "

Why bother, you wouldn't understand all the legalese anyway. I'd have to start with the USC, then the CFR, then the Orders, Notices and Advisory Circulars, then the other directives from the FDA, CDA, HHS etc. In the end you would be just as confused as you are now perhaps more so. Best if you look all this stuff up yourself. You can start here;

https://www.govinfo.gov/
https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/medical_certification/
https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=62224942c6f2a374d7abfb2ac7c387fd&mc=true&node=pt14.2.67&rgn=div5


Best
RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck -1
"...We suppose you will doubtless quote us the CFR "

Why bother, you wouldn't understand all the legalese anyway. I'd have to start with the USC, then the CFR, then the Orders, Notices and Advisory Circulars, then the other directives from the FDA, CDA, HHS etc. In the end you would be just as confused as you are now perhaps more so. Best if you look all this stuff up yourself. You can start here;

https://www.govinfo.gov/
https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/medical_certification/
https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=62224942c6f2a374d7abfb2ac7c387fd&mc=true&node=pt14.2.67&rgn=div5


Best
craiglgood
Craig Good 1
Why is this a story? The FAA's job is not approving vaccines. After the FDA gives approval, *then* the FAA can have an opinion.
N1477M
Don Eisele 1
A lot of comments seem to be posted by non-pilots. The FAA absolutely will make the rules for pilots. Depending on ratings, we have to pass a flight physical every six months to two years. Failure to disclose use of a medication or vaccine on the application for the examination is a federal felony. Need to take a madication? Findout beforehand which meds the FAA approves for that condition. Use one that’s not FAA approved? Grounded...
paultrubits
paul trubits 2
That is why Preacher had to quit. He needed unapproved medication.
bbabis
bbabis 1
I’ve never seen or been asked about vaccines on my medical in almost 50 years. Maybe this is a comment from a “non-pilot.”
RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck 1
"I’ve never seen or been asked about vaccines on my medical in almost 50 years."

Ditto. Item 17a on the Form 8500-8 only asks about current use of any prescription or nonprescription medications, not what vaccinations you've had.

Best
ajagostini
ajagostini 1
Agree. This article simply stated that if a pilot participated in the clinical trials (of an at the time of the article using a non FDA approved vaccine agent) that he/she was grounded. The crystal ball outlook following FDA approval and use of the vaccine in pilots/aircrew was not mentioned. I have never had to report a vaccine (either one time or recurrent such as the flu vaccine) on my FAA 8500...only regular medication use.
RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck 0
Don (and everyone else),

For FAA guidance on the use Over-the-Counter medications see the following information:

https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/medical_certification/media/OTCMedicationsforPilots.pdf

For Pharmaceuticals (Therapeutic Medications) and the FAA's Do Not Issue - Do Not Fly guidance see this:

https://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/ame/guide/pharm/dni_dnf/

Unsure? Contact your Aviation Medical Examiner.

https://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/

Best

Capt. J Buck
G2Hamilton
“the fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his Government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”
bbabis
bbabis -3
The FAA is way outside its boundaries here. I for one will take the vaccine as soon as it's available to me wether the FAA has approved it or not. If people don't start pushing back, the government will keep using this covid crap to take total control of our lives.
RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck 2
And your qualifications are....?
dcarter2080
David Carter -1
Take prophylactic dosage of Hydroxychloriquine + zinc & vit D and forget the vaccine. See www.americasfrontlinedoctors.com, hover mouse on "Covid-19" in top line of links & click "Hydroxychloriquine", then scroll down & click on "The Truth about Hydroxychloroquine" which is the link to the White Paper covering pretty much everything Pro and (criminally or un-ethically) Con.
IAOA
IAOA -3
One word: THALIDOMIDE
paultrubits
paul trubits 2
Thalidomide is still available. You just don't give it to first term pregnant women. My guess is that it is not prohibited by the FAA
ajagostini
ajagostini 1
Yes. We usually see it used in folks with multiple myeloma. These patients are usually older individuals of non-child bearing age. Hence, eliminating the side effect for which it got its fame. These patients do complain of fewer headaches though!
2sheds
two sheds 0
According to a Senior AME on an EAA Webinar what Jasper Buck says below is correct. The FAA will only weigh in on C-19 vaccine if there is indications of population-wide adverse events but unless and until that time their (the FAA) policy is that a pilot is obliged to wait a sufficient amount of time before flying to assure no adverse effects of any vaccine, drug, treatment, etc., etc.,etc. So, this is just the unknowing informing the ignorant or what we called in the Army just another worthless/mindless rumor to keep people occupied.
RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck 0
"According to a Senior AME on an EAA Webinar what Jasper Buck says below is correct. "

Thank you.

Best Regards/Happy Holidays/Stay Safe

Capt J Buck

ATP DC-9 B757 B767
Flight Instructor
Ground Instructor
Aircraft Dispatcher
A&P Mechanic
Air Traffic Controller
FAA Aviation Safety Inspector (Ret.)
FAA certified accident investigator (Ret.)
ICAO Panel Member
Aviation Safety Consultant
RetiredCaptain
Jasper Buck 0
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAA News

Update12/12/2020

Use of COVID-19 Vaccines by Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers

The COVID-19 public health emergency has driven extraordinary global efforts to develop an effective and safe vaccine. Some of the vaccines in clinical testing are using novel technology, such as mRNA. The vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech has been made available to the American public under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

After careful review of available data regarding safety profiles, the FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine (AAM) adopts the following policy as both safe and operationally responsive to this unique situation:

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

Read the full text here:

https://www.faa.gov/news/updates/?newsId=94991
dcarter2080
David Carter 0
Forget the vaccine - Take prophylactic dosage of Hydroxychloriquine + zinc & vit D. See www.americasfrontlinedoctors.com, hover mouse on "Covid-19" in top line of links & click "Hydroxychloriquine", then scroll down & click on "The Truth about Hydroxychloroquine" which is the link to the White Paper covering pretty much everything Pro and (criminally or un-ethically) Con.
wopri
Wolfgang Prigge 1
America’s Frontline Doctors? Really? Why do you want to make this political?

This is from the Wikipedia page about the Tea Party Patriots:

On July 27, 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tea Party Patriots hosted and funded a press conference in Washington, D.C., in front of the Supreme Court Building by a group who referred to themselves as "America's Frontline Doctors". Without peer-reviewed evidence, the group of doctors claimed that hydroxychloroquine, Zithromax, and zinc could be used as a "cure" for COVID-19 (although there is currently no drug approved for this by the FDA or WHO) and that public health measures designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 (such as business and school closures and mandatory face masks in public spaces) were therefore unnecessary. One of the speakers, Stella Immanuel, said she herself had treated and cured 350 COVID-19 patients using the promoted drug cocktail and referred to doctors refusing to use hydroxychloroquine as being like the "good Germans who allow the Nazis to kill the Jews". They also accused "fake pharma companies" of sponsoring studies that found hydroxychloroquine to be ineffective against COVID-19.
wopri
Wolfgang Prigge 0
One of the America’s Frontline Doctors group is Stella Immanuel, the demon sperm and alien DNA preacher.
G2Hamilton
FAA clearly has jurisdiction over domestic flights - what they would have to consider seriously is flights which may operate in international airspace and be subject to international law, treaties, etc. - there isn't safety blanket afforded embassy by agreement that they're situated upon an extension of their jurisdictional lands. Thorny question, I doubt that there will be a quick answer.
DRotten
D Rotten -6
LOL Pilots dropping dead mid-flight?? CAN'T have THAT, can we?!! Here's a thought......vaccinate all pilots AND make ALL planes the 737 Max! THAT'LL thin out the heard, for sure! lolol

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