You’ve served your country, now help fight the flu by getting a shot. Getting a flu shot helps protect you and your family, loved ones and community from getting sick with the flu. With COVID-19, getting a flu shot is even more important this year for protecting your health.

“Last flu season, 27,000 Veterans were treated at VA for the flu and another 4,600 were hospitalized. With COVID-19 also circulating, you definitely don’t want to get both at the same time,” said Dr. Mark Upton. Upton is Acting Assistant Under Secretary for Health for Community Care.

“That’s why this year, we’re making it easier than ever to get your flu shot, whether at a VA medical facility or at a community location,” he said.

If you are a Veteran enrolled in VA health care, you can receive your no-cost flu shot at their nearest VA medical facility. You can also receive your no-cost flu shot at one of more than 60,000 in-network urgent care or retail pharmacies in your local community.

How to get a flu shot

To get a flu shot at a community location, follow these three steps:

  • Step 1: Find an in-network provider or retail pharmacy in your community using the VA facility locator. Enter your ZIP code. Select “community pharmacies (in VA’s network). Search and select a participating location.
  • Step 2: Go to the in-network provider or retail pharmacy near you. It’s a good idea to call ahead to ensure they are an in-network location and to verify they have the vaccine available. When you arrive, inform them you are a Veteran enrolled in VA health care and you would like to receive a flu shot paid for by VA.
  • Step 3: Get your flu shot. Simply show a government-issued identification card and receive a standard- or high-dose flu shot. (A high-dose flu shot is more effective for those over 65 years old).

The flu vaccine is your best protection against the flu. Combining it with practicing proven prevention methods – such as cleaning your hands and surfaces around you and covering coughs and sneezes – is even better.

Anyone can be infected by the flu virus. Flu can be mild or serious for some and deadly for others. Flu causes hospitalizations and deaths, especially for people ages 65 and older and those with chronic medical conditions.

Learn more about seasonal influenzea (flu) and getting a flu vaccine by visiting the following webpages:

Gabrielle Holak works in the VHA Office of Community Care Contract Support.

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Published on Dec. 9, 2020

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