Pilots and Air Traffic Controllers May Receive Johnson & Johnson's Vaccine, With Appropriate Precautions

Sunday, February 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Following the Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen COVID-19 vaccine, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has determined that pilots and others who perform safety sensitive duties may receive the vaccine under the conditions of their FAA-issued airman medical certification. FAA and contract air traffic controllers, who are subject to FAA medical clearance, may also receive the vaccine.

To maintain the highest level of safety in the National Airspace System, the FAA will require the affected recipients of this single-dose vaccine to wait 48 hours before conducting safety sensitive aviation duties, such as flying or controlling air traffic. The waiting period, which accounts for potential side effects, applies to those holding an Airman Medical Certificate issued under 14 CFR Part 67 or a Medical Clearance issued under FAA Order 3930.3C.

The FAA’s medical professionals will continuously monitor the initial distribution of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine and will adjust the recommendations as needed.

The FAA will evaluate additional vaccines as they receive FDA emergency use authorization and will advise pilots and air traffic controllers of any required waiting periods. The agency previously cleared the FDA-approved Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for aviation use, subject to the same 48-hour waiting period.

The FAA applies similar brief waiting periods after administration of other vaccines, including those for tuberculosis and typhoid.

For more information, please visit the Medical Certification page on our website.