COVID-19 vaccines and testing
The VA Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS) is offering COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans, their spouses and caregivers, and CHAMPVA recipients. We provide Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations to adolescents ages 12 to 17, who are caregivers of Veterans or are CHAMPVA beneficiaries under the SAVE LIVES Act. Adolescents must have a parent or legal guardian present.
VANCHCS is now offering the Novavax COVID-19 vaccine to unvaccinated Veterans, employees, spouses of Veterans, caregivers, and CHAMPVA recipients. We also provide the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines. For more information about Novavax, visit the CDC website.
To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-382-8387, press 4 or 5, or stay on the line.
How to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster
Appointments are required and offered at the times and locations listed below. You can request an appointment at your nearest VA facility, regardless of whether you received your initial series or boosters at VA or in the community. For added convenience, you can also request the vaccine during an upcoming primary care appointment. Please make sure to bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card to your appointment! This is particularly important if your initial series was given outside of VA.
- To schedule an appointment, call 1-800-382-8387, press 2 and then option 3, or stay on the line. The call center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., excluding federal holidays, Monday through Friday.
- Veterans enrolled in VA health care can also request an appointment by sending a Secure Message to “COVID VACCINE SCHEDULING – NCHCS” in MyHealtheVet.
Monday - Friday
8 -11 a.m. and 12-3 p.m.
Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. -12 p.m., 1 - 3 p.m.
Monday - Friday, 10-11 a.m. and 2-3 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday, 12 - 3 p.m.
Mondays and Wednesdays, 9 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 - 11 a.m. and 1 - 3 p.m.
Monday - Friday, 9 - 12 p.m. and 1 - 3 p.m.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9 - 12 p.m.
Monday - Friday, 9 a.m.- 12 p.m. and 1 - 3 p.m.
Monday - Friday, 9 - 11:45 a.m. and 1 - 3:15 p.m.
Tuesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Updated booster shots are offered at VANCHCS. These updated boosters protect against both the original virus strain and the Omicron variant.
Appointments are available and we offer updated COVID-19 vaccine booster shots at no cost in these locations. Call 1-800-382-8387, press 2 and then option 3, or stay on the line. The call center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., excluding federal holidays, Monday through Friday.
If you’re an eligible Veteran or family member, you can get an updated booster if all of these are true for you:
- You completed your primary vaccine series, and
- You got your last primary vaccine dose or booster at least 2 months ago
Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine at VA Northern California
- All Veterans (including Veterans who live or travel outside of the U.S. and are eligible for the VA Foreign Medical Program)
Spouses and Surviving Spouses of Veterans
For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we are including spouses of same-sex and common-law marriages. Eligibility includes a widow or widower of a Veteran. If an individual characterizes his or her relationship as spousal, he or she can receive the vaccine.
Caregivers of a Veteran
For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we define a caregiver as a family member or friend who provides care to the Veteran. Caregivers may help the Veteran with personal needs like feeding, bathing, or dressing. They may also help the Veteran with tasks like shopping or transportation. A person stating that they are the caregiver of a Veteran and giving the Veteran’s name is sufficient to give him or her a vaccine.
Recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits
Adolescents ages 12 to 17
Adolescents ages 12 to 17, who are caregivers of Veterans or are CHAMPVA beneficiaries under the SAVE LIVES Act, who will be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Call 1-800-382-8387, press 2 and then option 3 press 2 and then option 3 , or stay on the line, to see if doses for adolescents are being offered at your preferred location.
Some Federal Employees
Those employed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, General Services Administration, Food and Drug Administration, National Archives and Records Administration, or Federal Judiciary.
The expanded authority depends on readily available COVID-19 vaccine supply and requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue to prioritize Veterans enrolled in VA care.
Please read the VANCHCS policies on visitation.
Order your COVID-19 test kits on www.COVIDtests.gov or visit the COVID-19 testing schedule page.
COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions
Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time?
Yes. You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time. Here’s what the CDC recommends:
If you haven’t gotten your currently recommended doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you can.
Try to get a flu vaccine by the end of October. A flu shot is an essential part of protecting your and your family’s health every year.
Learn more about flu and COVID-19 vaccines on the CDC website
If I’m not enrolled in VA care or VA’s Caregiver’s Program, do I need to bring anything with me to receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
Can I choose which COVID-19 vaccine I get?*
Yes, depending on supply. When scheduling an appointment, please speak with the clerk for your desired vaccine. Additionally, eligible individuals may choose which vaccine they receive as a booster dose. Some people may prefer the vaccine type that they initially received, and others may prefer to get a different booster. CDC’s recommendations now allow for this type of mix and match dosing for booster shots.
*Vaccine offerings could change depending on supply.
I have a specific medical condition and don’t know if it’s a good idea for me to be vaccinated. Who should I ask?
If you have a question about your personal medical history, please communicate with your primary care provider. You can also learn quite a bit about the specifics of the COVID-19 vaccine at our Keep Me Informed tool.
What can I do to fight COVID-19?
Keep up the 3W’s! It’s important for everyone to continue using all the tools available to help stop this pandemic as we learn more about how COVID-19 vaccines work in real-world conditions. Even after vaccination, Veterans and employees should continue to:
- Wear a face covering
- Watch your distance (stay 6 feet apart)
- Wash hands frequently
I am a Veteran who is not enrolled in VA health care. How can I enroll for VA care?
Where can I learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines?
Who can get Novavax COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S.?
The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine is approved for people 18 years of age and older who have not yet been vaccinated for protection against COVID-19.
How is Novavax different than the other COVID-19 vaccines currently available?
The Novavax COVID-19 vaccine was created using protein-based technology, like some of our current shingles and flu vaccines. With Novavax COVID-19 vaccine, the coronavirus spike protein itself is injected into the body to induce an immune response. In contrast, mRNA (Pfizer, Moderna) and adenovirus vector (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccines teach our body how to make the spike protein to induce an immune response.