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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 offer 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.

How to receive a COVID-19 vaccine or booster

Appointments are required. 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 4 or 5, 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.

COVID-19 boosters

VA Northern California Health Care System is offering first boosters of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines at all its sites of care by appointment only.

When to get your booster shot

If you got the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine

  • Get your booster shot at least 5 months after you completed your primary vaccine series, or
  • Get your booster shot at least 3 months after you completed your primary vaccine series if you have a weakened immune system and received an additional vaccine dose
    Find out if you can get an additional vaccine dose

Note: If you’re at least 18 years old, the CDC strongly recommends getting either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine for your booster. Youth ages 12 to 17 can only get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their booster. 

If you received your booster outside of the VA, we encourage you to share this information with your VA health care team. You can do this by adding your vaccine information to your My HealtheVet health summary for your records. To add your information, you’ll need a Premium My HealtheVet account. Learn more about managing your COVID-19 vaccine records online.

Adolescents must have a parent or legal guardian present.

Second boosters of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines are now available by appointment only in all primary care clinics for Veterans, spouses, caregivers and CHAMPVA recipients who received any primary series vaccine(s) plus a booster AND are: 

  • 50 years of age or older and your first booster dose was at least 4 months ago. 

  • Moderate to severely immune compromised and your first booster dose was at least 4 months ago (for some people, this will be a 5th dose). 

  • Four months out from a booster dose and had Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) COVID-19 vaccine for both your initial vaccine and your booster. 

Who can get a COVID-19 vaccine at VA Northern California

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.

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, who are caregivers of Veterans or are CHAMPVA beneficiaries under the SAVE LIVES Act, who will be offered the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.  Please call 1-800-382-8387 and select option 8, to see if doses for adolescents are being offered at your preferred location.

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.

COVID-19 vaccine clinic hours

Building 650, first-floor auditorium
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Building AB6
Monday and Tuesday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Auburn
Tuesday and Thursday, 9:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Chico
Tuesday and Thursday, 12-3 p.m.

Fairfield 
Wednesday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Mare Island
Tuesday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

McClellan
Tuesday and Thursday, 9 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Redding
Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Yreka
Thursday, 12-2 p.m.

Yuba City
Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

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.

COVID-19 testing

Order your COVID-19 test kits on www.COVIDtests.gov or visit the COVID-19 testing schedule page.

COVID-19 vaccine frequently asked questions

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

No, just call 1-800-382-8387, press 4 or 5 to schedule an appointments.  

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.

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.

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