The COVID-19 public health emergency has driven extraordinary global efforts to develop an effective and safe vaccine. Some of the vaccines in clinical testing are using novel technology, such as mRNA. The vaccine produced by Pfizer and BioNTech has been made available to the American public under an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
After careful review of available data regarding safety profiles, the FAA Office of Aerospace Medicine (AAM) adopts the following policy as both safe and operationally responsive to this unique situation:
Holders of FAA-issued Airman Medical Certificates or Medical Clearances may receive the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine; however, a 48-hour no fly/no safety related duty interval must be observed after each dose.
AAM will monitor the patient response to Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and may adjust this policy as necessary to ensure aviation safety. Additional vaccines will each be evaluated as EUAs are issued.
Updates on COVID related FAA policies can be found on the www.FAA.gov website.
FIH Comment: Private pilots operating under Basic Med would be best advised to follow the same suggestion, e.g. a self-imposed 48-hour break from aviation after receiving a vaccine injection.