Greater Vaccine Supply, Lighter Demand Means More Options for Veterans, Retirees

Greater Vaccine Supply, Lighter Demand Means More Options for Veterans, Retirees
Photo by Cynthia McIntyre/Army

While your options for receiving a COVID-19 vaccination still depend largely on where you live, many states and communities are reporting supply outpacing demand. This means the days of long lines and frustrating web searches may be over for those seeking a shot.

 

TRICARE beneficiaries can make an appointment by visiting TRICARE.mil/VaccineAppointments and clicking a link to their state. Options for setting up your vaccination will vary by location: Some provide a phone number, some direct visitors to facility websites, some offer-walk-in hours, and some allow visitors to book appointments online.

 

Not seeing a facility near you? Visit TRICARE.mil/MTF to find information on all military hospitals and clinics. Your local facilities’ website or official social media channel may also provide information on appointments and walk-in availability; the Fort Belvoir Community Hospital, for example, has a limited daily walk-in vaccine window.

 

Other Vaccine Choices 

  • VA: All veterans – regardless of whether they are receiving VA health care – are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines at a VA facility. Spouses, caregivers, and those under the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) are also eligible. Get details at this link.
  • Vaccines.gov: Follow the links to schedule an appointment in your area. You can narrow your search by distance from your ZIP code (up to 50 miles, or as low as a mile) or by vaccine type.
  • Pop-up clinics: Watch your local news or social media feeds for clinics in your area. Some may target the veteran population, but as vaccine demand wanes, more of these events have been open to the general public.

 

Beware of Scams

Veterans may be targeted by scammers who offer to help schedule a vaccine appointment in exchange for cash or personal data, according to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The group listed COVID-related scams among the typical fraud targeting veterans, which may be more prevalent during Military Appreciation Month; learn more in this recent Military Times report.

 

No one eligible for the vaccine needs to pay for it, and while scheduling assistance is available, it should not come unsolicited. Don’t give out any personal data to unknown callers or emailers, and while some states and cities may have incentive programs tied to vaccinations, be vigilant before filling out any unexpected paperwork or downloading any materials.

 

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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