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Where Retirees, Veterans Can Go to Get a Free Flu Shot

Where Retirees, Veterans Can Go to Get a Free Flu Shot
(Photo by Staff Sgt. Sheila deVera/Air Force)

Hoping to ward off the flu this fall and winter? Follow these tips to secure your free vaccination.

TRICARE

All TRICARE plans cover the vaccine, with beneficiaries eligible to receive a free shot in one of three ways:

  • Visit a military hospital or clinic. Find one here, but call ahead to ensure the vaccine is available.
  • Visit a TRICARE network pharmacy. Find one here or by calling (877) 363-1303; be sure to contact the pharmacy in advance to find out when they are administrating the vaccine and to ensure the pharmacist gives it – if an on-site clinic administers it, the vaccine may not be covered, according to vaccine information on TRICARE’s website.
  • Visit a TRICARE provider. Find one here. The shot will be covered, but you will be charged a co-payment or cost share for the visit.

 

TRICARE’s flu vaccine website also includes detailed instructions for servicemembers (active, Guard, and Reserve), who are required to get the vaccine.

VA Care

VA beneficiaries have several options when it comes to a no-cost flu shot:

  • Some VA facilities will host walk-in immunization stations; contact your local facility to find out when these programs will be in place. Beneficiaries can receive a shot during any scheduled appointment, according to the VA’s immunization website.
  • Walgreens will provide free flu vaccines to VA beneficiaries who show their Veterans Health Identification Card and another form of photo identification, per the VA website. No appointment is necessary.
  • Flu shots are covered by the VA community urgent care policy that went into effect in June, according to a VA fact sheet. Beneficiaries won’t be charged a co-payment for a flu shot-only visit to a community care facility within the VA network, nor will the visit count against the number of visits allowed to such facilities prior to being charged a co-payment. Find an urgent care facility in the VA network, and get more information about the community care program, here.

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About the Author

Kevin Lilley

Kevin Lilley serves as MOAA's digital content manager. His duties include producing, editing, and managing content for a variety of platforms, with a concentration on The MOAA Newsletter and MOAA.org.