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Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine approved for pilots, controllers

March 1, 2021

Pilots and air traffic controllers can take the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, the FAA announced February 27, the same day that the Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization.

The FAA announced February 27 that pilots and air traffic controllers could take the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Photo courtesy of UPS Inc.

The FAA had previously approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines.

Pilots and controllers must wait 48 hours after receiving the vaccine before flying or controlling air traffic. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires just one dose, necessitating just one 48-hour wait period. The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines both require two doses, and the FAA requires a 48-hour wait period after each vaccine dose.

“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 agency said.

The policy applies to those with FAA medical certificates or medical clearances.

The FAA reiterated that it would consider other coronavirus vaccines that the FDA might approve in the future. The agency has been quick to release policy statements on the vaccines, following FDA emergency use authorization.

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