It’s that time of year: flu season is here. With COVID-19 circulating in our communities, getting a flu shot is more important than ever.
In addition to your local VA medical facility, flu vaccines are available at no cost to eligible Veterans at more than 70,000 in-network community care providers nationwide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), you can even get your flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine during the same visit.
Here are the four steps to getting your community flu vaccine:
1. Check your eligibility
Community flu vaccines are available to eligible Veterans who, both:
- Are enrolled in the VA health care system.
- Received care through VA from either a VA or community provider within the past 24 months. (This requirement is new for 2021-2022 flu season.)
To check your eligibility (for the community urgent care benefit, which includes the flu vaccine), either:
- Call 800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411), select option 1 (for urgent care information), then option 3 (for urgent care information), and then option 1 again (to check urgent care eligibility).
- Contact your local VA medical facility.
A great part of this benefit is that you can get a community flu vaccine without prior authorization. Flu vaccines provided are standard (quadrivalent), high dose and preservative-free.
2. Find a participating provider
To find an in-network provider, go to the VA Facility Locator:
- City, state or postal code: Enter the appropriate ZIP code for your area.
- Facility Type: Select “Urgent Care” or “Community pharmacies (in VA’s network).” If you select “Urgent Care,” choose “In-network community urgent care.”
- Click “Search.”
- Choose provider.
You can also call 877-881-7618 or your local VA medical facility for help locating an in-network provider. Make sure the provider is in-network to avoid being charged for the flu vaccine.
3. Go to the provider
Before going to the provider:
- Call ahead to make sure the provider offers the flu vaccine through this benefit.
- Print the Billing Information Card (or have it viewable on your mobile device) and take it with you to the provider.
When you arrive:
- Tell them you’re a Veteran enrolled in VA health care, and
- You would like to get a flu shot, paid for by VA.
- Show your government-issued ID and the Billing Information Card.
4. Get the vaccine
- Get your flu vaccine!
There is no copayment charge if your visit consists only of a flu vaccine. In addition, flu-vaccine only visits don’t count towards visits and/or copayments associated with using VA’s community urgent care benefit.
If you are charged for the flu vaccine, call 877-881-7618 for assistance.
Documentation of the flu vaccination is sent to VA by the community provider to update your medical record. You can also request a copy of the documentation showing you received the flu vaccine.
- For help with eligibility and general questions, call 800-MyVA411 (800-698-2411), select option 1, then option 3, and then select option 1 again.
- For help when receiving a community flu vaccine, call 877-881-7618 or your local VA medical facility.
- Flu Shots – Community Care
- Influenza (Flu) – VA National Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
- Influenza (Flu) – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)