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VA Maryland Health Care System

 

Don’t Let the Flu Get You

A Veteran patient receives a flu shot from a VA clinician.

Free flu shots are available throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Influenza virus (also known as the flu virus) is very serious, but it can be preventable.  The flu kills 36,000 people annually and is especially dangerous for the elderly, those with heart and lung problems, and those with suppressed immune systems.  An annual vaccination remains the single most effective and preventive measure available against the influenza virus.  Mainly transmitted through infected people coughing and sneezing, influenza may survive for up to 24 hours on a dry surface, thus becoming a continuous source of transmission. 

To help prevent the flu this season, the VA Maryland Health Care System is offering Veterans free flu shots.  The Standard-dose vaccine will be given to Veterans age 18 to 74.  Veterans 75 and older will receive the High-dose vaccine because it provides them with better protections against the flu.  Other Veterans receiving the High-dose vaccine include those with compromised immune systems, those with heart and lung issues, and those receiving immunosuppressive medications.

Free flu vaccinations are available throughout the VA Maryland Health Care System during the following Walk-In Flu Shot Clinics:  

  • Baltimore VA Medical Center Lobby 2nd Floor Flu Shot Clinic: October 3rd thru November 22nd, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
  • Baltimore VA Annex Lobby: October 3rd thru October 20th, from 11:00 am. to 2 p.m.

Veterans can also receive the flu vaccine in the following ways at any VA Maryland Health Care System medical center or outpatient clinic and at Walgreens until April 2018:

  • During a scheduled Primary Care and Specialty Care Clinic visit.
  • By walking into the Primary Care Clinic, Monday-Friday, between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • At Walgreens, by showing your VA ID card.

Please note that Walgreens will only provide the Standard-dose vaccine free.  They will charge a fee for the High dose vaccine.  Veterans needing the High-dose vaccine can request it at any VA Maryland Health Care System facility.  Veterans who request the High-dose vaccine and who do not meet the criteria must have a physician’s order for it.

Veterans 75 and older will receive the High-dose vaccine because it provides them with better protections against the flu.  Other Veterans receiving the High-dose vaccine include those with compromised immune systems, those with heart and lung issues, and those receiving immunosuppressive medications.

If you received your flu shot at a non-VA health care facility other than Walgreens, please inform your VA primary care provider or call the Flu Information Line at 1-800-463-6295, ext. 7273 so it can be annotated in your medical record.

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