Real Answers from Real Pilots

COVID-19 Vaccine Medically Disqualifying?


I’ll be the first to admit, I had no idea that pilots were not allowed to receive the COVID-19 vaccine until the FAA approves it.



I actually had a very long conversation with ALPA Natl AeroMedical just yesterday on the subject. They’re trying to work out a compromise of a temporary grounding (anywhere from 2-14 days) but everything is still up for discussion. One of the main issues is a number of airlines are contemplating making the vaccine mandatory for all their pilots. Obviously if the FAA doesn’t relax their current stance that would be impossible.



Sounds like a good enough excuse that I can use to not take the vaccine :+1:t6: Thanks for the information Tory.


While that may work for you, it wouldn’t for those that want to get it. And for those that want it, it should be available.

The good news is that it will probably not be until spring or summer of next year before the general public will be able to receive the vaccine. Hopefully that will be plenty of time for the FAA to make a decision.


Yeah I think once the vaccine is approved by the FDA, then the FAA can evaluate and make a clearer decision. I was reading about the vaccine last night and it doesn’t sound like your “run of the mill” flu shot but I also don’t see any crazy chemicals or anything in it. It’s gonna be interesting what the FAA says about the vaccine as we learn more about it.

1 Like

My understanding is that taking the vaccine during the trial stages is a medically disqualifying event, as you’re taking unapproved medication. Since the vaccine(s) will be approved before the general public (and us pilots) will be able to get them, THEN we won’t have this issue.

I believe that the FAA will give guidance saying that a pilot will be grounded 2-3 days post-injection, and more if they display any adverse reaction.

Qualifier: These are my personal opinions, and I’ve been wrong before!


The FAA has approved the vaccine for pilots and controllers. All that is required is to not fly for 48 hours after taking the vaccine,



Wow that was quick