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FAA endorses Moderna COVID vaccine for pilots

Pilots, shown here in a simulator, can take the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines without repercussions from regulators. (Photo: UPS)

The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration on Saturday gave commercial pilots and air traffic controllers the green light to take Moderna Inc.’s (NASDQ: MRNA) COVID-19 vaccine, eliminating the possibility those who take the new drug might violate their medical certifications.

The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved Moderna’s vaccine for public use on an emergency basis and the FAA quickly moved to endorse usage for two groups of essential transportation workers, as it did a week ago after Pfizer Inc.’s got the FDA’s blessing.

In both cases, the FAA is requiring pilots and air traffic controllers to abstain from work for 48 hours after injection to ensure there are no side effects that might lead to safety issues.

Because the vaccine requires two doses, 28 days apart for maximum effectiveness, the waiting period applies after each dose. The Pfizer (NYSE: PFE) vaccine, which was approved last week, requires two doses 21 days apart, but the waiting period after each dose applies to both brands.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.


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Eric Kulisch

Eric is the Supply Chain and Air Cargo Editor at FreightWaves. An award-winning business journalist with extensive experience covering the logistics sector, Eric spent nearly two years as the Washington, D.C., correspondent for Automotive News, where he focused on regulatory and policy issues surrounding autonomous vehicles, mobility, fuel economy and safety. He has won two regional Gold Medals from the American Society of Business Publication Editors for government coverage and news analysis, and was voted best for feature writing and commentary in the Trade/Newsletter category by the D.C. Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. As associate editor at American Shipper Magazine for more than a decade, he wrote about trade, freight transportation and supply chains. Eric is based in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached for comments and tips at [email protected]