VA Retail Immunization Care Coordination Program
During flu season, protecting your health with a flu shot is easier than ever — and as close as your local VA or neighborhood Walgreens! VA and Walgreens care about your health and are partnering to offer enrolled Veteran patients easy access to flu shots.
VA and Walgreens are national partners, providing no-cost quadrivalent flu shots to enrolled Veterans of the VA health care system. During the program, which runs from August 15, 2018 through March 31, 2019, enrolled Veteran patients nationwide have the option of getting their flu shot at any of Walgreens’ 8,200 locations in addition to their local VA health care facilities. No appointment is required; simply go to any Walgreens, tell the pharmacist you receive care at a VA facility, and show your Veterans Health Identification Card and another form of photo ID.*
Your immunization record will be updated electronically in your local VA electronic health record. Walgreens has the capability to electronically send vaccination information to the VA electronic health record. The VA-Walgreens national partnership is part of VA’s eHealth Exchange project. This national program ensured that many Veterans got their no-cost flu shot at their local Walgreens, satisfying their wellness reminder because they either found it more convenient or did not have a scheduled appointment at a local VA health care facility.
Patients will also be asked to complete a vaccine consent form at time of service.
Other Options for Immunization
VA now offers expanded access to preventive health care by giving more options for your annual flu shot. You choose! No-cost flu shots are available at your VA health care facility or neighborhood Walgreens! Your VA medical record will be updated either way.
VA Health Care Facilities
You may receive a no-cost flu shot during any scheduled VA 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.
Other Non-VA Providers and Pharmacies
Many local retail pharmacies offer flu shots that may be covered by private insurance or programs such as Medicare. There may be a charge for your flu shot at these locations. If you do not have insurance, there will usually be a charge.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is excited about how the convenience of immunizations from retail provider Walgreens, combined with integrated health records, can improve immunization rates and expand access for Veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system. For patients, the option of receiving immunizations at retail providers offers more convenience and choice to get important vaccines.Vaccines are subject to availability. State, age, and health-related restrictions may apply.
Additionally, when a VA-enrolled patient receives a flu vaccine at a participating Walgreens provider, an immunization record is automatically transmitted to VA and becomes part of the patient’s VA health record without having to complete any VA forms. VA patients can view this information on their My HealtheVet Blue Button, a tool to make patient medical records easily available for patients to download and share with members of their health care team.My HealtheVet Blue Button
VHA medical facilities offer free flu shots to Veterans enrolled in VA health care. You are encouraged to visit the nearest facility and receive a flu vaccine each flu season. If that distance is too great, you now have another option. VA has partnered with Walgreens to provide flu vaccine at no cost to Veterans enrolled in VA health care. This partnership increases access to flu vaccine and improves vaccination rates among enrolled Veterans.
Not all flu vaccines are made by the same company. The flu vaccines you receive at VA or Walgreens will help protect you from the flu this season.
High dosage (HD) flu vaccines, sometimes given to people ages 65 and over, are not included in the VA Retail Immunization Program. Walgreens provides HD flu shots at all 8,200 locations; however, Veterans interested in the HD vaccine flu shot may incur an out-of-pocket expense and will not be reimbursed by VA. Veterans, who are 65 and over, should call or visit their local VA facility to inquire about receiving the HD flu vaccine.
To learn more about vaccines, visit the VA Public Health website.VA Public Health website
There is no cost to Veterans enrolled in VA health care for quadrivalent vaccine at Walgreens. However, if you decide to get another vaccine or different type of flu vaccine, Walgreens may charge you, your private insurance, or Medicare.
These no-cost flu shots are available nationwide from August 15, 2018, through March 31, 2019. Vaccines are subject to availability and may be in limited supply after March 1, 2019. VA-enrolled patients simply need to notify a pharmacist at a participating Walgreens that they are an enrolled Veteran in the VA health care system, and show their VA ID card along with a federal or state photo ID.
After March 31, 2019, applicable charges to third party insurance may apply. Walgreens also accepts most insurance plans depending on eligibility. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), health plans are required to provide flu shots without charging a deductible, copayment or coinsurance. All patients going to Walgreens will need to fill out a Vaccine Administration Record (VAR) to receive a vaccination.
All Walgreens pharmacies in the continental United States (and Duane Reade pharmacies in the New York metropolitan area), as well as Hawaii, Alaska, and Puerto Rico locations will be participating. You can use the Walgreens store locator tool to find the location nearest to you.Find your closest Walgreens location
Simply let the Walgreens pharmacist know you are Veteran enrolled in the VA health care system; show your VA Health ID card and another state or federal photo ID. That’s it! The VA-enrolled patient will be asked to fill out a Vaccine Adminstration Record (VAR) as part of the process. The VA will automatically get information about the patient’s flu shot from Walgreens.
You can download and print the Flu Vaccination Form to make it easier to get a flu shot from your local Walgreens.VA-Walgreens Flu Vaccination Form
Health records will be available to VA clinicians within 24 hours of a patient receiving a vaccination. Some delays may occur.
Participation in the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) Health Program is not required to receive Walgreens immunizations. However, with the VA-Walgreens partnership, after a Walgreens pharmacist administers a vaccine, the immunization information is transmitted to VA through the eHealth Exchange and becomes part of the patient’s VA health record.
The no-cost flu shot program starts August 15, 2018 and runs through March 31, 2019. Please note vaccine supply may be limited after March 1, 2019.
At this time, Walgreens is the first partner of the VA Retail Immunization Care Coordination Program.
Disclaimer from Walgreens
This wellness benefit is only for Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system. Family members and TRICARE members are not eligible. Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system seeking a flu shot at Walgreens will be required to complete a Walgreens Vaccine Administration Record in order to receive the vaccination. The no-cost flu shot option is for quadrivalent vaccine only, available now through March 31, 2019. After March 31, 2019, applicable charges to third party insurance may apply. Walgreens accepts most insurance plans, including Medicare.
Vaccine is subject to availability and may be in limited supply after March 1, 2019. State, age, and health-related restrictions may apply. If your local pharmacy is not participating in the VA Retail Immunization Care Coordination Program, it may participate in the future as the program expands.
Disclaimer of Endorsement
Reference to Walgreens, other non-VA pharmacies, or to any specific commercial products, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer or otherwise, does not constitute or imply VA endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of these companies, their services, or products.