Subject: Flying prohibited for 48 hrs following Covid vaccine administration
Fellow pilots: I received the following this morning from the FAA. Please feel free to share it with fellow pilots.
Basically, it says that pilots flying under the authority of an FAA medical exam must wait for 48 hrs after each of the two administrations of either of the currently authorized Covid vaccines before piloting an aircraft. This is due to the risk of vaccination side effects.
Pilots flying under other authorizations, such as Basic Med, or Light Sport, are not mentioned in this FAA communication, so my interpretation is the FAA 48 hour flying prohibition doesn’t apply to them, but common sense indicates just as much caution for those pilots.
I DO encourage people to become vaccinated — as does the FAA — and think this precaution is reasonable. A small but significant number of people experience side effects from the vaccines that prevent them from working the following day. If no significant side effects have shown up by 48 hours, it’s unlike they will afterward.
The side effects, symptoms such as headache, achyness, fever, fatigue, are annoying, but far better than the disease itself. In the US, about 1 person in 1,000 has died from Covid, and nobody among several hundred thousand in vaccine trails has died, so from a relative risk standpoint, it’s far, far safer to be vaccinated than not. Plus, you get to skip the disease.
Side effects are partially related to how robustly the recipient’s immune system responds to the vaccination, so are more likely in younger pilots, specifically those under the age of 55. On the upside, side effects are one indication the vaccine is doing its job.
Bill Kintner, MD
FAA Aviation Medical Examiner
AIRMAN MEDICAL EXAMS – There are currently no local doctors who are AME’s on the Olympic Peninsula
Gary Pingrey in Gig Harbor provides FAA Medicals for pilots (253) 970-7737
Supplemental information on Basic Med. Click below:
For basic med, check with your local doctor if he/she will fill in or sign the forms. Drs. Kintner or Redlin can be used for any questions or concerns the local doctor might have. If you have a basic med doctor not listed please contact the Web Editor with their contact info and city so it can be added to our list, to help our fellow pilots.