Flu Shots: More Access, Seamless Documentation - Veterans Health Administration
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Flu Shots: More Access, Seamless Documentation

Woman receives flu shot from nurse.

After you get your shot, the record is sent securely to your VA health record.

By Hans Petersen
Thursday, October 23, 2014

Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system can get your seasonal flu shot at any VA health care facility and now at any Walgreens that administers them.

VA also is covering the cost of about 75,000 flu shots*.

To get a seasonal flu shot at Walgreens, you only need to tell the pharmacist you receive care at a VA medical facility and show your VA ID card.

After Walgreens administers the vaccine, the immunization record is transmitted securely to your VA health record—regardless of whether VA covers the cost of the vaccine.

Important information, including the type of immunization, the date and the administering provider will then be part of your VA electronic health record  without any additional steps for you.“

Typically, when a Veteran patient receives a flu shot at a retail pharmacy, the Veteran has to report back to VA about the shot and it was a manual process,” said Douglas Trauner of the VA Center for Innovation.

 This new program fully automates this process. 

“This new program fully automates the process. It focuses on how the VA health care system can scale access to immunizations at retail pharmacies and other health care outlets outside VA.”

According to Trauner, VA immunization rates are typically good, around mid-70 percent in the population of adults older than 65, but VA’s target is to reach a 90 percent immunization rate for certain populations. Through VA’s collaboration with community partners like Walgreens, VA is working to provide more convenient options to Veterans to improve immunization rates and patient care.

The Details

  • Vaccines at Walgreens are subject to availability.  Age, state and health related restrictions may apply.
  • Many immunizations may be covered by commercial insurance plans, Medicare Part B or Medicare Part D.
  • Walgreens accepts most insurance plans, including Medicare.
  • *When VA funding for 75,000 flu shots expires, there may be a cost to a VA patient for the flu shot, but no Veteran without Medicare Part B or private insurance should have to pay for a flu shot provided at Walgreens.
  • Patients are encouraged to check with their health plan for specific coverage details.

Vaccinations are available daily during all pharmacy hours with no appointment necessary and are subject to availability.

Get all the details about the program and answers to all your Frequently Asked Questions.