Some flight crews availed of the plentiful vaccine supply to get the jab during turnaround time in the US
Aer Lingus crews working transatlantic flights have been told they cannot get vaccinated for Covid-19 while on work stopovers in the United States.
It is understood that the airline issued a reminder to staff after it emerged some crews availed of America’s plentiful vaccine supply to get the jab during their turnaround time, according to informed sources.
The vaccine is widely available across all US states, from Walmart stores to drive-through clinics, with some states offering few restrictions to those who want to get it — even overseas visitors.
Aer Lingus management has told staff they cannot travel for 48 hours after they have been vaccinated because of the risk of developing adverse side effects, which would render them unfit for duty.
Aer Lingus did not reveal how many staff or cabin crew had availed of the vaccine while on company duty in the US.
The US has forged ahead of other nations in the vaccine rollout, with an average of 2.2 million doses a day being administered to the population, according to recent figures.
Anyone with a visa or who is legally visiting the country can get a vaccine by calling in to one of the high-street stories, health centres or drive-through facilities offering the service. Although requirements differ between states, in many cases details such as national health or personal public service numbers are not required.
The surge of vaccinations has led reports of vaccine tourism, with thousands travelling to the US from Latin America.
Reports have even emerged of some travel agencies offering “inoculation” holiday packages.
“In line with EASA (European Union Aviation Safety Agency), HSE and Aer Lingus medical provider guidelines, Aer Lingus crew are not permitted to report for duty until a minimum of 48 hours post vaccination for Covid-19,” a statement issued by Aer Lingus said.
“This is to allow time for any side effects to wear off and to ensure crew are fully fit for duty. As a result, Aer Lingus crew are unable to receive a vaccination for Covid-19 if in the US on duty.
"Crew are asked to adhere to all medical advice given by the HSE and their medical provider in relation to vaccinations.”