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Pilots and air traffic controllers can now take the Pfizer vaccine, FAA says

Dec. 12, 2020
3 min read
Pilots and air traffic controllers can now take the Pfizer vaccine, FAA says
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On Friday evening, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.

A massive coordination effort is underway between the local and federal government, hospitals, pharmacy chains and logistics companies -- including airlines -- as the vaccine is readied for use by early next week.

With the Pfizer vaccine now available for the U.S. public as early as Monday, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also taken the extraordinary step to provide vaccination authorization and guidelines for pilots and air traffic controllers.

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The Pfizer vaccine being loaded into the cargo hold of a United aircraft. (Photo courtesy of United)

The FAA has approved aviation professionals with medical certifications or medical clearances to be vaccinated. However, these individuals must also observe a period of 48 hours following administration of the vaccine before being permitted to fly or perform air traffic control duties.

With two doses of the vaccine required 21 days apart, the 48-hour waiting period applies to each dose. Of note, the 48-hour waiting period isn't new. In fact, the administration of other vaccines, including those for tuberculosis and typhoid requires the same process.

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The FAA has said that it doesn't anticipate taking additional measures to ensure safety after the initial window for side effects closes. And while these vaccine guidelines only pertain to the Pfizer version, the FAA plans to evaluate vaccines from other manufacturers as they receive FDA authorization in the coming weeks and months.

Earlier this month, Pfizer already tapped United Airlines to help position the vaccine around the world. In fact, United has a distinct title as the first commercial airline to fly the now-FDA-authorized COVID-19 vaccine. On behalf of Pfizer, the airline operated five cargo-only flights in early December delivering COVID-19 vaccines from Brussels to Chicago.

Now, Pfizer's precious cargo -- at minus-94 degrees Fahrenheit -- will start rolling out of plants in Michigan and Wisconsin on Sunday to hospitals nationwide.

Featured image by Wayne Slezak

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TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
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  • Intro Offer
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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023