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FAA Green Lights Vaccine

Pilots and air traffic controllers have been authorized by the Federal Aviation Administration to get Pfizer’s Coronavirus vaccine, but they must wait 48 hours before getting into the cockpit or operating a console.  The two-day waiting period is to ensure there aren’t any immediate side effects.

The approval was given one day after the Food and Drug Administration approved emergency use authorization for the vaccine.  The FAA said, “To maintain the highest level of safety in the National Airspace System, the agency will require aviation professionals with medical certifications or medical clearances to observe a period of 48 hours following the administration of this vaccine before conducting safety-sensitive aviation duties, such as flying or controlling air traffic.”

The waiting period applies for the administration of both doses of the vaccine, which occur 21 days apart.  Common side effects for most people are soreness at the injection site and fatigue, chills, headache and body aches.  These side effects are apparently more pronounced after the second dose.

The FAA will assess the FDA’s findings on each of the vaccines expected from other pharmaceutical companies in coming weeks and months and will issue guidance for each.