Did FAA Admit Pilot EKGs Not Normal After Vaccines?!

Did the FAA admit that pilot EKGs are no longer normal, because the COVID-19 vaccines have damaged their hearts?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!


Claim : FAA Admitted Pilot EKGs Are Abnormal From COVID-19 Vaccines!

An article by Steve Kirsch has gone viral, claiming that the FAA admitted that pilot EKGs are no longer normal, because the COVID-19 vaccines have damaged the hearts of many pilots?!

Here is an excerpt, which itself is really long, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!

In the October 2022 version of the FAA Guide for Aviation Medical Examiners, the FAA quietly widened the EKG parameters beyond the normal range (from a PR max of .2 to unlimited). And they didn’t widen the range by a little. They widened it by a lot. It was done after the vaccine rollout.

This is extraordinary. They did it hoping nobody would notice. It worked for a while. Nobody caught it.

But you can’t hide these things for long.

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Truth : FAA Did Not Admit Pilot EKGs Are Abnormal From Vaccines!

This is yet another example of MISINFORMATION created and/or propagated by anti-vaccination activists, and here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : EKG = ECG

First, let me quickly clarify that EKG and ECG refer to the same test – electrocardiogram.

EKG is the abbreviation original German spelling (elektrokardiogramm), while ECG is the abbreviation for the English spelling.

Fact #2 : FAA Split 1st Degree AV Block Into Two Categories

On October 26, 2022, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) amended its medical policy on Heart Arrhythmias, specifically First-Degree Atrioventricular Block (1st Degree AV Block).

Previously, pilots with first-degree AV block were required to undergo tests and submit documentation to prove that they had “no evidence of structural function or coronary heart disease” to be certified to fly.

The FAA’s amended medical policy now splits pilots with first-degree AV block into two groups:

  • PR interval of less than 300 ms : certified for flight if no symptoms or Approved Medical Examiner (AME) concerns
  • PR interval of 300 ms or more : pilots must submit a current Holter and cardiac evaluation to the FAA for review

The claim that the FAA expanded the limit from 0.2 (seconds?) to unlimited is nonsense. There is a hard limit of 300 milliseconds (0.3 seconds) – from that point, the pilot must submit documentation for FAA’s evaluation.

Fact #3 : PR Interval Of Less Than 300 ms Usually Benign

The ECG of a person with a normal heart would generally have a PR interval of between 120 and 200 milliseconds. Anything above that usually indicates an AV block.

However, first-degree AV block is a misnomer – it only delays the electrical signal, it does not block it. Therefore, first-degree AV block often do not present with any noticeable symptoms.

On top of that, no treatment is indicated for people with first-degree AV block if their PR interval is less than 300 milliseconds, because it rarely causes any symptoms.

In an otherwise healthy heart, this is usually a benign condition and rarely causes any symptoms. In general, it does not require specific treatment besides a complete evaluation by a physician.

– Dr. Roland Assi, cardiac surgeon and assistant professor at Yale University

It is not uncommon for people to have such delays. If the [AV] block is less than 300 milliseconds, there is no indication for further therapy nor increased risk or impairment of bodily function

– Dr. Eric Adler, cardiologist and professor of medicine at University of California, San Diego.

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Fact #4 : Long PR Interval Not A Vaccine Side Effect

I should point out that longer PR interval is not a COVID-19 vaccine side effect. In fact, a PR interval of less than 300 milliseconds is considered normal in many healthy people, with a PR interval of less than 400 milliseconds normal in healthy athletes.

For reference, in healthy athletes a PR interval <400 msec is considered normal. So, the 300 msec cutoff may be considered conservative in many healthy people.

– Dr. Richard Kovacs, chief medical officer at the America College of Cardiology.

Fact #5 : Change Was Not Made Because Of Vaccine

The FAA has spoken out about the claim, stating that the decision to adjust their policy for first-degree AV block was based on current science and data, and not because pilots were developing heart problems from COVID-19 vaccinations.

When making changes to medical requirements and guidance, the FAA follows standard processes based on data and science.

Our cardiology consultants provided information that anything under 300ms requires no additional testing and is not a risk for sudden or subtle incapacitation.

Fact #6 : FAA Considered Long PR Interval Normal Before COVID-19 Vaccines

The FAA had earlier released a document that said that a first-degree AV block with PR interval between 0.21 and 0.29 seconds is considered normal.

That document was published on 3 July 2019 – more than 5 months before the first COVID-19 outbreak in China, and more than 17 months before the first COVID-19 vaccine was approved!

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Fact #6 : American College of Cardiology Approves Of New FAA Guidelines

Dr. Richard Kovacs, chief medical officer at the America College of Cardiology (ACC), said that the updated FAA criteria for widening ECG parameters for first-degree AV block is consistent with ACC guidelines.

The FAA’s updated criteria for widening the ECG parameters regarding AV Block are reasonable and consistent with ACC guideline recommendations.

Fact #7 : FAA Refutes Claims Of Complications From COVID-19 Vaccines

The FAA’s federal air surgeon has also determined that the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, and Novavax COVIC-19 vaccines are safe for its pilots and air traffic controllers.

The FAA also refuted claims that COVID-19 vaccines have caused accidents or incapacitation of pilots:

The FAA has no evidence of aircraft accidents or incapacitations caused by pilots suffering medical complications associated with COVID-19 vaccine.

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.


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