FAA Clears Single-Dose COVID-19 Vaccine For Pilots

Janssen vaccine vials in stacked trays
Credit: Johnson & Johnson

Pilots and air traffic controllers who perform safety-sensitive duties may receive the new COVID-19 vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson under the conditions of their airman medical certifications, the FAA said Feb. 27.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Feb. 27 granted emergency use authorization to the Johnson & Johnson, Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies’ single-dose vaccine for people aged 18 and older.

Pilots and other recipients of the Janssen vaccine must wait 48 hours before conducting safety-sensitive aviation duties to account for potential side effects, the FAA said. The waiting period applies to individuals holding an airman medical certificate issued under federal aviation regulations Part 67 or a medical clearance issued under FAA Order 3930.3C.

The FAA previously cleared the FDA-approved Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for aviation use, subject to the same 48-hr. waiting period. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine consists of two shots, given three weeks apart. The Moderna vaccine consists of two shots, give 28 days apart.

Further information is available at the FAA Medical Certification page: https://www.faa.gov/licenses_certificates/medical_certification/

Bill Carey

Based in Washington, DC, Bill covers avionics, air traffic management and aviation safety for Aviation Week. A former daily newspaper reporter, he has covered the commercial, business and military aviation segments as well as unmanned aircraft systems. Prior to joining Aviation Week in November 2017, he worked for Aviation International News and Avionics and Rotor & Wing magazines.