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COVID-19 Vaccines and Testing

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine. VA will have a limited amount of this vaccine to start. We’ve worked with the CDC and other federal partners to develop a phased plan. Our goal is to do the most good for the most people during this time.

Under this plan, we’ll first offer vaccines to these 2 groups:

  • Veterans living in our long-term care facilities, and
  • VA health care personnel. Vaccinating our high-risk VA health care personnel helps us continue providing care for Veterans.

We based this plan on these criteria from CDC guidelines:

  • Risk of becoming infected with the virus
  • Risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19
  • Risk of spreading the virus to others
  • Risk of harm to society if essential workers, including health care personnel, are unable to work

After the first 2 groups, we’ll begin to offer vaccines to more Veterans who are at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Your VA health care team will contact you if you’re eligible to get a vaccine during this time.

To get the latest updates and sign up to stay informed about COVID-19 vaccines, visit our vaccine information page.

Ordering free COVID-19 tests

Order 4 free at-⁠home COVID-⁠19 tests at, or by calling 1- (TTY 1-). Order tests now so you have them when you need them. Learn more about COVID-19 testing at VA.

Latest updates: January 11, 2023

Booster shots

Updated booster shots are available at most VA health facilities. These updated boosters protect against both the original virus strain and the Omicron variant. Call before you come in to make sure the facility has the booster you want.

We offer updated COVID-19 vaccine booster shots at no cost. If you’re an eligible Veteran or family member, you can get an updated booster if all of these are true for you:

  • You haven’t already had an updated bivalent booster (first offered in September 2022), and
  • You’re at least 12 years old, and
  • You completed your primary vaccine series, and
  • You got your last dose of the original COVID-19 vaccine at least 2 months ago

Learn how to get your updated COVID-19 booster shot

Note: The Novavax vaccine is now authorized as a first booster for people ages 18 and older in limited cases. You can get it 6 months after your primary vaccine series if you haven’t gotten any boosters yet. Novavax is not updated to protect against the Omicron variant. 

Primary vaccines

If you haven’t started your primary COVID-19 vaccine series yet, you can still get an original COVID-19 vaccine. These vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19.

Learn how to get your primary COVID-19 vaccine


We offer free COVID-19 testing to eligible Veterans who are enrolled in VA health care.

Find out how to get COVID-19 testing through VA