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COVID-19 vaccines and testing

Safe care is our mission. The Milwaukee VA offers the COVID-19 vaccine to enrolled Veterans only at no cost.

COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Information 

The health and safety or our Veterans and staff remain a top priority for VA. Vaccine remains the best way to protect everyone from serious illness. Protect yourself, your family, and your community by scheduling your appointment today. COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be effective in diminishing the spread of the virus within our communities.

The Milwaukee VA offers updated (bivalent) COVID-19 booster shots. All shots are by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, contact the Milwaukee VA Medical Center ZIHP clinic or the Appleton, Green Bay, or Cleveland community-based outpatient clinics:

If you choose to receive a shot in the community, please let your VA care team know so our records are up to date.

Veterans are asked to bring their valid VA ID card with them and the CDC Vaccination Card.

Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines | CDC

Updated vaccines, sometimes called 'bivalent' vaccines

The updated vaccines are called “updated” because they protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variant BA.4 and BA.5. Two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, have developed updated COVID-19 vaccines.

Original vaccines, sometimes called “monovalent” vaccines

Previous COVID-19 vaccines are called “original” because they were designed to protect against the original virus that causes COVID-19.

As of April 18, 2023, the original Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are no longer authorized for use by the FDA in the United States. Updated Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are being used for all age groups.

As of May 6, 2023, J&J/Janssen COVID-19 vaccine has expired and is no longer available for use in the United States.

New vaccines expected in fall 2023

On June 15, 2023, an FDA advisory committee met to talk about COVID-19 vaccines and additional strains of the COVID-19 virus. They recommended that COVID-19 vaccines should be updated to provide protection against the Omicron variant XBB.1.5 for use by the fall of 2023.

Why is a booster important? 

• COVID-19 vaccine effectiveness fades over time.

• A booster will recharge your body’s ability to protect you from COVID-19.

What you need to know:

  • Getting a COVID-19 vaccine after you have recovered from COVID-19 infection provides added protection against COVID-19.
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised have different recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines.
  • COVID-19 vaccine and booster recommendations may be updated as CDC continues to monitor the latest COVID-19 data.
  • Shots are available for enrolled Veterans only. For more information about VA health care eligibility, visit Eligibility for VA Health Care | Veterans Affairs.  
  • Spouses, caregivers, and Veterans not eligible for VA health care are encouraged to remain up to date with recommended vaccines and access COVID-19 vaccination in the community. Community COVID-19 vaccine locations are listed at: - Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you. 
  • Shots will be given by appointment only in certain community-based outpatient clinics and the ZIHP Clinic at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.
  • While the FDA and CDC have authorized both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for boosters, the Milwaukee VA only offers Pfizer.
  • You can “mix and match” vaccines: If you received Moderna for the first booster, you can get Pfizer for second. This includes Johnson & Johnson as well.
  • Reminder:  Bring your CDC immunization card.
  • If you choose to receive a shot in the community, please let your VA care team know so our records are up to date. 


COVID-19 Testing

Contact your primary care office for questions about COVID-19 testing, which generally takes place in the ZIHP Clinic at the Milwaukee VA Medical Center.

For information on obtaining in-home COVID tests, go to or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). The Milwaukee VA does not have home testing kits available for distribution.