Flu Shot 2020: Full Details for VA, TRICARE Availability

Flu Shot 2020: Full Details for VA, TRICARE Availability
Photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin O'Neil-McKeown/Air Force

Both the VA and TRICARE offer programs designed to ease access to no-cost flu shots for beneficiaries. Below, you’ll find details, links, and other resources for each; learn more about the immunization itself at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

 

VA Flu Shots

Where: Participating retail pharmacies and urgent care locations within VA’s network, as well as walk-in VA flu stations. Patients admitted to a VA facility may be able to receive the vaccine during a scheduled VA appointment. Use the VA’s online locator to find in-network pharmacies and urgent care providers.

 

Eligibility: Veterans must be enrolled in the VA health care system to receive the vaccine at participating retail pharmacies. To receive the vaccine from participating urgent care locations, they must be enrolled and have received care from a VA provider or in-network community provider in the last 24 months. Check eligibility with your local VA medical facility or call 844-MyVA311 (844-698-2311) and select option 1, then select option 1 again.

 

What Else You Should Know:

  • Eligible veterans can receive the standard or high-dose flu shot.
  • Call the provider before your visit to ensure vaccine availability.
  • Vaccines are not available to beneficiaries in Alaska at retail pharmacies. Beneficiaries in VA Region 6 (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands) can receive free vaccines at VA health care facilities.

 

Learn More: Visit VA’s website for answers to frequently asked questions, points of contact, and other resources.

 

TRICARE Flu Shots

Where: A military hospital or clinic, participating network pharmacy (see note below), or TRICARE-authorized provider (visit may require a co-pay or cost share). TRICARE’s flu vaccine webpage includes links to find these locations.

 

Eligibility: All TRICARE plans cover the vaccine.

 

What Else You Should Know:

  • Eligible beneficiaries can receive the standard or high-dose flu shot.
  • Call the provider before your visit to ensure vaccine availability.
  • When contacting pharmacies, ensure the vaccine will be given by a pharmacist. If it’s being administered by an on-site provider or via an in-house medical clinic, it may not be covered by TRICARE.
  • Active duty members, as well as National Guard and Reserve members, must get the flu vaccine. They have priority at military hospitals and clinics.

 

Learn more: TRICARE.mil/Flu includes links to plan details, contact information, and guidance on flu symptoms and prevention.

 

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About the Author

Kevin Lilley
Kevin Lilley

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. Follow him on Twitter: @KRLilley