No-cost flu shot options for Veterans

Free at Walgreens – Bring your VA ID And use the code in this story


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Flu season is here, and getting your flu shot has never been easier. Remember that getting vaccinated is the single best way to protect yourself, as well as your loved ones, against the flu virus.

This year, enrolled Veterans of the VA health care system have several options to get a seasonal flu shot. VA offers more options, easy access, and seamless records – the choice is yours.

So what are your options?

You may opt to get a free flu shot at your local VA health care facility.

Or you may choose to go to your neighborhood Walgreens.

As an enrolled VA patient, you can get a no-cost flu shot at Walgreens from August 1, 2015 – March 31, 2016.

Dr. Shulkin receiving his flu shot.

Under Secretary for Health Dr. David Shulkin gets his flu shot.

VA health care facilities

You may receive a no-cost flu shot during any scheduled appointment, if you are admitted to one of our VA health care facilities, or at one of the convenient walk-in flu stations.

For more information on locations and hours contact your local VA health care facility.

Walgreens nationwide

If you are a Veteran patient in the VA system, you may choose to get a no-cost flu shot at a local Walgreens between now and March 31, 2016.

No appointment is required; simply go to any Walgreens, tell the pharmacist you receive care at a VA facility and show your Veterans Identification Card and another form of photo ID. Use Group Code # 5933XBAYV.

Your immunization record will be updated electronically in your local VA electronic health record.

Non-VA Providers and Pharmacies

Many local retail pharmacies offer flu shots that may be covered by private insurance or programs such as Medicare. If you do not have insurance, there will usually be a charge.

View this video for more information about VA’s national immunization initiative to provide Veterans more options, easier access, and seamless records when it comes to getting their seasonal flu shot.

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Reference to non-VA pharmacies, including Walgreens, does not constitute or imply endorsement of these organizations, their services or products. If your local pharmacy is currently not participating in the VA Retail Immunization Program, it may participate in the future as the program expands. Vaccine is subject to availability. State and health-related restrictions may apply. If you do not have insurance coverage, there may be a charge for a flu shot after March 31, 2016.


About the Author: Dr. Margaret A. Donahue is the Director for the Veterans Health Information Exchange


 

Author

VAntagePoint Contributor

-- VAntage Point Contributors provide insight and perspective on a wide range of Veterans issues. If you'd like to contribute a story to VAntage Point, learn how you can submit a guest blog at http://www.blogs.va.gov/VAntage/how-to-submit-a-guest-post/

Comments

  1. Joy Palmer    

    Do widow’s of veterans get their flu shots free also?

  2. Don Jones    

    I went to Walgreens today on Donald Ross Rd, Jupiter, FL and they didn’t know anything about VA program or veterans getting their flu shot through them. She didn’t recognize the code either!

    1. Nelson S Funk    

      I went to a Walgreens in Metairie LA today and they wanted an additional code number to the one posted on this site so I was not able to get a free flu shot.

  3. Ellis Seawell    

    Free flu shot at Walgreens? Bring your VA Identification Card? Since when did the VA start issuing ID cards? How do I get one? No information I can find on the VA web site. Ellis

    1. Rhonda    

      My, I and our son have had VA ID cards for years. Go to the desk upon entering and ask an associate behind the counter.

    2. Jim P    

      VA issues ID cards to all who are enrolled in Medical Coverage.

      Veterans can apply on-line here:

      http://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/apply/

  4. michael boyle    

    Thank you as a Vet I appreciate what your doing.
    Michael Boyle

  5. Roger orren    

    I went to Walgreens in port huron, Michigan. On 10th street for my free flue shot and the farmacist didn’t know any thing about it. He didn’t even have time to. Talk to me. They told me that Walgreens does not give out free flue shots it must be rite aid that I’m looking for. I never did like Walgreen any way.

  6. William Nissen    

    I am an Iowa National Guard veteran (from 1971-1977). What VA benefits am I eligible for?

    Bill Nissen

  7. Billy Straight    

    How the hell am i supposed to get a veterans identification card when i cant even get an appointment to go to the V.A. I have tried numerous times, called numerous times, and gotten nowhere!! The only thing i did get was laughed at by a lady at Ft. Leavenworth when i called.. She laughed at me and said 6 months to a year!!!!!!! Then i e-mailed the environmental health coordinator at the same place a month ago, have not heard a damn thing back!!! How am i supposed to get MY concerns addressed when i cant even see anyone!! I am a vet who proudly served in the gulf war and can get nothing done.

    1. Rev J Edward Beer    

      Contact your local veterans coordinator the can help.

      1. Wilma Mcneil    

        Quickest way to get into the system take your dd214 go to your nearest Va and go into the emergency room with a complaint. Then ask anyone in the hospital where do you apply for an ID card someone should be able to direct you to the right Office

    2. THOMAS EDWARD ROBLEE    

      If you have trouble with the VA find your DAV they helped me all the way and even transported me to the VA for my appointments GOOD LUCK.

      AO1 USN RETIRED

  8. Daniel LeBlanc    

    I went to the local Walgreens in Leesburg, FL and they wanted to charge me $31.98 because I’m under 65 years old? Thanks for nothing, I’ll travel to the V/A in the Villages.

  9. Brandon    

    Walgreens staff is not tracking this program. Pharmacist was actually pretty rude when she spoke with me. 0/10 would not recommend to others.

  10. Mary Parmenter    

    VA and Walgreens! So convenient THANK YOU 🙂

  11. Cal Hodges    

    Walgreens nationwide

    If you are a Veteran patient in the VA system, you may choose to get a no-cost flu shot at a local Walgreens between now and March 31, 2016.

    This news came via email yesterday. I took advantage of the opportunity and received my flu shot from my neighborhood Walgreens last evening. The process could not have been more simple and convenient.

    Thank you VA!

  12. Kenneth S Yeaman    

    Thanks for informing us that we can get our flu shots at Walgreens. My primary care is in Salem, VA and it will save me a trip. Please tell Walgreens us old Vets appreciate this courtesy.

  13. ragnar albertsen    

    trying to sign up as a Vietnam vet but so far unable to

  14. Rev J Edward Beer    

    ATTENTION VETERANS, If you are having trouble getting signed up at the VA try contacting your local veterans coordinator the can help, they can also help with benefits you may be in-titled to.

  15. Bob Nelsen    

    What a nice way to awake in the morning as it has this morning seeing that the VA and the public continue to provide the benefits for the soldier, I’m very proud to have joined the Army. Thank you.

  16. Robert Brinkdopke    

    Went to Walgreens on Delhi Rd. in Delhi Township/Cincinnati, OH and was told they knew nothing about this program of free flu shots for VA patients.

  17. Wesley Dart    

    I went to Walgreens and the system said someone else was billing the VA for my flu shot. I don’t know who, but I got no shot from Walgreens or anyone else. Epic fail.

  18. Michael Ogletree    

    Called nearest Walgreens this morning to confirm participation in this program – okay. Drove over was done in less than 20 minutes. Saved 2 hours of driving across city to/from VAMC Philadelphia PA. Worked out wonderfully, thanks.

  19. Barry Smith    

    I initially heard about the free flu shot program on Friday 10/9/15 while listening to WDIA radio out of Memphis, TN. I called my local Walgreens in Cleveland, MS. They didn’t know about the program, so I then called Walgreen’s customer service, and they didn’t know anything about the program. The representative even let me talk to a Walgreens pharmacist who stated it would definitely be some cost involved in me getting a flu shot from them.
    So about Saturday 10/10/15, I received an email from the VA, which provided me with a group code. I went to the same Walgreens in Cleveland, MS this morning 10/14/15, and had no problems receiving my flu shot at no cost. They were very friendly. Thanks to the Veterans Affairs and Walgreens!!!

  20. Michael Bunting    

    I had the same problem in Mahomet Illinois, the Walgreens that I went to there had no idea about the program and was unable to give me a flu shot. I think this is a great option if it worked, it appears that there may have been some issues on Walgreens part, since some people have been able to get a shot.

  21. laura feldman    

    Thanks, worked like a charm and saved me a long ride to the VA. I’m grateful to the VA and Walgreens for making good health so easy!

  22. Bruce Devlin    

    Went to Walgreens in Conway S.C. for flu shot. They never heard of the program, spent 20 min. researching it and came up empty! Someone didn’t do their homework when they initiated this program!

  23. A. Melillo    

    Welcome to the VA, it only took me 3 years to get a definite no regarding tinnitus. Even though I was in the tank corps a chainsaw is what probably screwed my ears up is what they told me. Even though I never owned one prior to going to be tested. I also fell two months short for Agent Orange, in country November 6th cut off was August 30th. Great VA……

  24. Gary Turner    

    Free flu shots word never got to Lakeville, MN.

  25. William D. Baiocchi    

    Went to my local Walgreen’s yesterday with ID and code. They said they needed a special form.

  26. Mike Jarrett    

    I went to the local Walgreens in Martinsville, Indiana to get the flu shot and the pharmacist had no clue as to what I was talking about. He actually tried to make me look as if I was trying to get the flu shot for free when I shouldn’t be. I was very pissed off about this !!
    Thank you very much VA and Walgreens for the lack of professionalism in setting up this SO-CALLED PROGRAM !!!

  27. Rob McAtee    

    This afternoon after church, I stopped at a Walgreens here in Evansville, IN. I had no problem getting my flu shot. The pharmacist was professional, courteous, and knew about the program. I filled out a very short questionnaire and was in and out in about 20 minutes. Wonderful program and wonderful store!

  28. Amy Tipton    

    Walgreens in the Baton Rouge area knows NOTHING about the FREE flu shot that they are offering to veterans. Been to two different ones and no one knows what to do. Walgreens shouldn’t offer stuff and not inform their pharmacies on the procedures. It’s a nice gesture to give you good publicity but not following through gives me a bad opinion of Walgreens.

  29. Randy Z. Lanning    

    Just returned from my local Walgreens.
    First off they knew nothing about Free Flu Shots. I was told we don’t bill V.A. so I showed her the page I saved to my cell phone. The young lady tried to help me but said it required a VIN number along with the GROUP CODE
    Sorry. If you can get that number I can help you.
    No Shot today

  30. Brian Phillips    

    Walgreens turned me away today….unless I wanted to pay.

  31. Michael Teeters    

    The VA and Walgreens should have a posting of which pharmacies are actually participating in this program and any additional paperwork or ID’s that are needed for the free flu shot. Save a lot of time and headache and for veterans, humiliation and embarrassment for some.

  32. Josh    

    Good luck fining a Walgreens that participates in this program, I have tried 3.

  33. Tony eoppolo    

    I went to walgreens next door to the va hospital in elsmere. They would not give me a flu shot unless i gave them my SSN. So i left.

  34. Robert    

    The pharmacist had to make a call and came back with the same code that I had in my hand. I got my flu shot but it was not a dress right dress right situation. What should have been 10 min was a 30 min deal. But that store should be geared up for other VETS to come in and out for their shots with minimum problems. BC

  35. Rick Thayer    

    I went to a Walgrens and they took my information, VA card and drivers liscense, then asked for my Social Security number. They said they needed it to bill VA. Has this happened to anyone else? Is it legit? I am very reluctaint to give anyone my SSN.

Comments are closed.