3/2/21: COVID-19 Vaccine/VA System

The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is now approved by the FAA for pilot use adding to the already approved vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer. 

After numerous calls from ALPA leadership, the Company has released guidance regarding the COVID-19 vaccine, its availability and the resultant scheduling challenges that the timing of the second dose may present.  

In addition to asking for this guidance, your ALPA leadership has:

  • Advocated that our pilots get placed in the front of the line, on a voluntary basis, to receive the COVID-19 vaccines as they come available.
    • ALPA National has worked with the Lt. Governors from all 50 states for this access.
    • Your MEC Chairman sent letters to the Governors of Alaska, California, Indiana and Tennessee advocating for this access.

FCIF 21-0159 provides important information about the vaccine administration including:

  • Link to an essential worker letter that may be helpful in getting the vaccine
  • Ability to use sick time around first and second dose if needed

Availability of vaccine varies from state to state and locality to locality. The Veteran’s Administration hospital system is making the vaccine available, in some locations, to veterans who qualify for VA benefits (typically based on income, disability benefits or specific military campaign experience). The criteria varies from location to location but we have reports of criteria at some VA hospitals being  a) any essential worker under CDC guidelines (which includes FedEx pilots) or  b) over age 55. We have reports of some pilots who are current military reservists or former military getting the vaccine from their local VA hospital or military installation. Additionally, we’ve heard from some FFDOs that they are eligible to schedule a vaccine as a law enforcement officer. Of course, these are all voluntary. Please continue to file DARTs and INSITE reports. Because of the rapidly changing situations around the world, our COVID team depends on these crew member reports to let them know what it going on in the field.