Flight Crew and Covid-19 Vaccine Injuries
This is informal guidance for any aircrew who feels that they may have sustained a COVID-19 vaccine injury.
It is intended to:
equip people with a process to follow with employers, unions, regulators, aeromedical examiners, doctors and insurers;
help you create a protective written record.
Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are aircrew suffering a COVID vaccine injury. Your details will be held in the strictest of confidence.
Personal Notes and Responsibilities
Record your Covid-19 vaccine dates and details, including manufacturer, dose, batch number(s) and dates of administration.
Check your batch number against www.howbadismybatch.com (scroll down to the “Check out your batch code” section).
Keep an ongoing diary of your medical symptoms including photographs and videos of any symptoms. Store them securely and make copies. If possible, get a third party to record what they observe as well e.g. family member or housemate(s).
Aircrew Specific: There are serious ethical issues if you choose to fly when unfit. If there is doubt, there is no doubt. Do not operate. Report unfit to fly.
ESSENTIAL: When communicating with any party, video or audio record the interactions for your records. If this is not possible, make detailed notes of every interaction. Always send your written account of each interaction to the other party and ask them to verify the accuracy of your notes and reply within a reasonable time frame. Specify that no reply received in that timeframe will be considered acceptance of the accuracy of your account.
You may wish to subject yourself to a wider array of diagnostic tests than your physician recommends. You can find a current list of tests here that are based on multiple medical sources and on known deleterious effects of Covid-19 vaccination.
Healthcare Providers and Insurer
Inform your aeromedical examiner and your family physician of your symptoms.
Get copies of all your medical records from before your vaccination(s) and for every interaction from this point on.
Ask your healthcare providers:
What their assessment is of your condition.
What they believe possible causes may be.
Whether they consider Covid-19 vaccination as a possible root cause (if they deny it as a possibility, ask them to specify why)
What their advice is for treatment, therapy, recovery, including reference to any specific aeromedical or other treatment pathway.
What they anticipate as the impact on your medical certification and their prognosis for your recovery.
For written copies of all diagnostic information along with their diagnosis and recommendations.
To complete a pharmacovigilance report, see Canadian Adverse Event Reporting System * (If the physician denies the vaccine as a possible cause, ask for their clinical justification in writing. You can file your own report regardless and must do so. Failure to file robs you of a record and analysis by your national pharmacovigilance service, resulting in more under-reporting)
CC Telehealth provides adverse event assessment and health treatment (please note this is pay per use).
*CAERS is an independent reporting system. Canadian Covid Care Alliance CCCA offers a similar recording system and a specific selection to identify as flight crew, including one-on-one follow up. Ensure completion of both records if you suspect you have sustained a vaccine injury.
Employer and Union
Record all interactions, or make detailed notes. Attend any meetings with a third party of your choosing in accordance with Company policies.
Inform them in writing of your condition and lack of fitness to fly.
Ask them for their written guidance on what they think you should do and why.
Arrange a meeting with them if appropriate. This is essential if you have been mandated and took a Covid-19 vaccine because of their mandate.
Ask them to explain:
their assessment of your situation and causal reasoning;
process to follow;
forms of company support;
healthcare and insurance provision.
Government Compensation Programs
Familiarise yourself with Canada’s Canadian Vaccine Injury Support Program and claim timeframes. Open a claim and add information to it on an ongoing basis in consultation with your sources of support. Some schemes are time-limited e.g. one year from sustaining injury.
Consider contacting a medical lawyer to become familiar with how you should conduct yourself and what evidence you should gather that may feed any case you bring.