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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 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

COVID-19 Vaccines: 2023–2024 Updated, Bivalent, and Original

2023–2024 updated COVID-19 vaccines

As of Oct. 3, 2023, the 2023-2024 updated Novavax vaccine was recommended by CDC for use in the United States.

As of Sept. 12, 2023, the 2023–2024 updated Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines were recommended by CDC for use in the United States.

The 2023–2024 updated COVID-19 vaccines more closely targets the XBB lineage of the Omicron variant and could restore protection against severe COVID-19 that may have decreased over time. We anticipate the updated vaccines will be better at fighting currently circulating variants.

There is no preferential recommendation for the use of any one COVID-19 vaccine over another when more than one licensed or authorized, recommended, and age-appropriate vaccine is available.

2022–2023 bivalent vaccines

As of Sept. 11, 2023, the bivalent Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are no longer available for use in the United States.

The 2022–2023 bivalent vaccines were designed to protect against both the original virus that causes COVID-19 and the Omicron variants BA.4 and BA.5. Two COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers, Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna, had developed bivalent COVID-19 vaccines.

Original vaccines

As of April 18, 2023, the original Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are no longer available for use in the United States.

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

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

Getting vaccines if you recently had COVID-19

If you recently had COVID-19, you still need to stay up to date with your vaccines, but you may consider delaying your vaccine by 3 months.

Reinfection is less likely in the weeks to months after infection. However, certain factors could be reasons to get a vaccine sooner rather than later, such as:

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 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: Vaccines.gov - 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.
  • 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 COVIDtests.gov or call 1-800-232-0233 (TTY 1-888-720-7489). The Milwaukee VA does not have home testing kits available for distribution.