Fauci: ‘We Don’t Really See Any True Basis’ for Concerns from Airline Pilots About Vaccines

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, speaks during a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hearing on June 30, 2020 in Washington, DC. Top federal health officials discussed efforts for safely getting back to work and school during the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo …
Al Drago - Pool/Getty Images

White House chief medical adviser Dr. Anthony Fauci stated Wednesday that officials “don’t really see any true basis” for concerns from airline pilots about receiving the coronavirus vaccine.

A transcript is as follows:

REPORTER: Commercial airline pilots are held to pretty high physical fitness standards. They undergo medical evaluation every six months to maintain their medical certificate to fly. Pilots at American and Southwest, in particular, are arguing that they are reluctant to get vaccinated because of the potential career-ending side effects. They note the FAA has warned pilots not to fly 48 hours after the shot because of the immediate side effects. There’s concern there could be long term side effects that could cause them to lose their medical certification and thus lose their job. Is this a valid concern?

DR. ANTHONY FAUCI: Right now, on the basis of literally hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of millions of vaccinations that we’ve had, the safety of these vaccines have been clearly established. When you look at immediate reactogenicity, that’s what the airlines are talking about for not having a person fly for about 24-48 hours after, because we know that it is not uncommon to get a sore arm or low-grade fever or some aches that almost invariably diminish and dissipate over a period of a couple of days. The long-term effects that the people are apparently concerned about — I’m sure there is a very, very, very, very rare exception — but the long-term effects are essentially non-existent. … We don’t really see any true basis in that concern.


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