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FAA paves way for pilots to receive Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine

THE Federal Aviation Administration has determined that commercial pilots and air traffic controllers subject to F medical clearance may receive Pfizer Inc's newly approved COVID-19 vaccine

16 December 2020 - 19:00
THE Federal Aviation Administration has determined that commercial pilots and air traffic controllers subject to F medical clearance may receive Pfizer Inc's newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.

The Food and Drug Administration recently authorised the vaccine's public use on an emergency basis after an extensive review of its safety and ability to protect against the virus, which has claimed nearly 300,000 lives in the US.



The Air Line Pilots Association had urged the F to quickly approve the vaccine for pilots so they don't violate medical certifications by taking the drug, reports New York's FreightWaves.



The F said it will require aviation professionals with medical certifications or clearances to observe a 48-hour waiting period following the administration of the vaccine before conducting safety-related aviation duties, such as flying or controlling air traffic, as a precaution against side effects.



Because the Pfizer vaccine requires two doses, 21 days apart for maximum effectiveness, this waiting period applies after each dose, the F said.



'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 F statement said.



The F will evaluate vaccines from other manufacturers as they receive FDA authorisation in the coming weeks and months and will advise pilots and air traffic controllers of any waiting periods required for those vaccines.



Pilots likely will be in the second tier of priority candidates to receive the vaccine after frontline medical workers and those in long-term care facilities.


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