As Fall approaches, VA health care providers are preparing their annual fight against flu. “Flu Teams” are busy putting up posters, sending out notices and printing handouts that promote the same message – flu infection is serious and VA staff and Veteran patients should get a flu shot.  Because receiving an annual vaccination is widely recognized as the best method for preventing disease and death related to influenza.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) orders almost 2 million doses of flu vaccine annually to be administered to VA patients and employees at VA medical centers and Community Based Outpatient Clinics.  Flu shots are the cornerstone of their prevention efforts and are provided free.  In addition to vaccination, their prevention strategy also includes educating the VA community of the importance of hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes, and of course, staying home when sick.


For a downloadable flyer, click on this image. File is in PDF format.

VHA teamed up with national retail pharmacy Walgreens to provide free flu vaccinations for enrolled Veterans through the VA Retail Immunization Care Coordination Program. This partnership offers greater access to flu vaccine, and as a result, tens of thousands Veteran patients have received flu shots at a local Walgreens. This flu season, the partnership between VA and Walgreens continues through March 31, 2017.

All Veterans who are currently enrolled in VA care may walk into any of the over 8,000 Walgreens nationally (and the Duane Reade pharmacies in the New York metropolitan area) to receive a vaccination at no cost.  After presenting a Veterans Identification Card and a photo ID, a Walgreens pharmacist administers the vaccine and transmits that information securely to VA where it becomes part of the patient’s electronic medical record.

This program has been especially beneficial to enrolled Veterans who live in rural areas. Because many may live at greater distances from VA medical facilities, the Walgreens/VHA partnership provides increased access to no cost flu vaccinations. Last year 29 percent of the VA patients who received a flu shot at Walgreens were classified as rural or highly rural by the VA zip code map.

VA is committed to keeping Veteran patients healthy, and during flu season, vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of flu. No matter where you live, visit your local VA clinic or Walgreens to get a free flu shot.

bio-pic-glenn-johnson Glenn Johnson has been with the VA since 2001 and has served as the chief of the Communications Department for the VA Health Administration Center, the VA Chief Business Office for Purchased Care and now the VHA Office of Community Care. He is a graduate of Syracuse University and is an Army Veteran who served from 1990 to 2000 as a photographer, photojournalist and war correspondent.

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Published on Sep. 16, 2016

Estimated reading time is 2.7 min.

Views to date: 151


  1. Rene Roy September 26, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Thought a veteran in the VA system could walk into any local VA branch and get a flu shot; not the case at all VA locations. There was no problem or hassle with Walgreens, the cost was zero dollars with Medicare.

  2. Larry Vandergriff September 24, 2016 at 11:54 pm

    Would someone please explain how Walgreens is getting VA funding for anything??!!!

    Walgreens stopped taking TRICARE years ago and refused Veterans that ONLY HAD TRICARE!

    What’s wrong with this picture?

  3. Tereza Becica September 23, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Watch Trace Elements or Vaxxed before buying into Big Pharm’s claims that everyone needs a flu shot!!

  4. Stephen Hood September 23, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    While she appreciate this, what the VA FAILED TO MENTION in their notice is that the VA does NOT cover the “HD” (High Dose) influenza shot recommended for all veterans age 65 and older! That shot will cost you $59!!!

  5. Glenn Lego September 23, 2016 at 10:36 am

    My local Walgreens store didn’t have the special dosage needed by older vets so I went across the street to another pharmacy and got my shot there. Was still free since I have Medicare. Walgreens also fiddled around with my VA card for several minutes before telling me that they didn’t know how to bill for the shot.

  6. Gabriel September 16, 2016 at 10:57 am

    Good idea.

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