St. Cloud VA Health Care System
Flu Vaccination Options for Eligible Veterans
September 17, 2020
During this flu season, flu shots for Veterans served by the St. Cloud VA Health Care System are available as part of most scheduled VA appointments, and through the VA Community Care Network.
The 2020-2021 flu season will coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic. Flu shots provide the best protection against influenza and help reduce illness and hospitalization. An annual flu shot is an important part of staying healthy and is more important than ever during this combined flu season and COVID-19 pandemic.
Flu shots for Veterans with a VA appointment
- Social distancing and the need to minimize traffic in facilities play an important role in our approach to flu shots this year.
- Veterans attending most scheduled appointments can get a flu shot as part of their pre-scheduled appointment. Some appointment areas, like imaging, lab and others, are not able to administer flu shots.
- Walk-in flu shots are not offered and flu-shot only appointments cannot be scheduled.
VA is offering the quadrivalent high dose vaccine designated for persons 65 and older and a quadrivalent standard dose vaccine.
The quadrivalent vaccine contains antigens from 4 strains of influenza virus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend any influenza vaccine over another as “preferred.”
Flu Shots Available through VA’s Community Care Network
Eligible Veterans can now receive their seasonal flu shots at no cost at more than 60,000 Community Care Network (CCN) retail pharmacies and urgent care locations. This replaces the Walgreens Retail Immunization Care Coordination Program, which ended in March 2020.
Veterans can use the VA Locator to find a VA facility, in-network retail pharmacy or urgent care location near them by using this link: https://www.va.gov/find-locations. Alternatively, Veterans can call 877-881-7618 to find a location.
Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system may use retail pharmacies to obtain flu shot.
Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system and who have received care from a VA or in-network community provider in the past 24 months may also use CCN urgent care locations to obtain a flu shot.
Veterans using the CCN should tell the in-network community care staff they are an eligible Veteran enrolled with VA, and show a government-issued identification (e.g., Veterans Health Identification Card or driver’s license). Bring this flyer when you visit the retail pharmacy or urgent care location for your flu shot. Billing Information for In-Network Community Care Flu Vaccines.
Stand-alone flu shot visits to in-network community urgent care providers are copay free and are not counted as an urgent care visit. Other vaccinations are not available through the CCN.
VA is committed to keeping Veteran patients healthy, and vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of flu.