Drive-through flu shots for veterans offered in Alexandria
Attention, all veterans: Flu shots for veterans served by the St. Cloud Veterans Affairs Health Care System are available as part of any scheduled VA appointment, at multiple, convenient drive-through flu shot clinics, including one in Alexandria.
The 2020-2021 flu season will coincide with the COVID-19 pandemic. Flu shots provide the best protection against influenza and help reduce illness and hospitalization, according to health leaders.
An annual flu shot is an important part of staying healthy and is more important than ever during this combined flu season and COVID-19 pandemic, they added.
Veterans attending a scheduled appointment at the St. Cloud VA or at VA Community Clinics can get a flu shot as part of their pre-scheduled appointment. In support of COVID-19 safety precautions, flu shot only appointments cannot be scheduled.
For veterans without an appointment, the VA is offering drive-up flu clinics for enrolled Veterans only. No appointment is necessary to get vaccinated at the drive-through clinics.
Veterans using the drive-through clinics will undergo screening for vaccine allergies and COVID-19 symptoms. Veterans are encouraged to prescreen for COVID-19 by using VA’s COVID-19 screening tool , available https://www.va.gov/covid19screen/ .
To ensure everyone’s safety, vaccinations for veterans with suspected or confirmed COVID-19
will be deferred at the drive-through clinics and veterans will be directed to other treatment locations.
To facilitate efficient operations of the drive-through flu clinics, participating veterans are asked to wear a mask, have their Veterans Health Identification Card ready, wear a short sleeve shirt, follow signage and stay in their vehicle.
In September and October, drive-through clinics are available at several different locations. The one in Alexandria will take place Friday, Sept. 25 and Friday, Oct. 9 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 800 3rd Ave. W, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days.
The VA is offering the quadrivalent high dose vaccine designated for persons 65 and older and a quadrivalent standard dose vaccine. The quadrivalent vaccine contains antigens from 4 strains of influenza virus. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) does not recommend any influenza vaccine over another as “preferred.”
Eligible veterans can now receive their seasonal flu shots at no cost at more than 60,000 VA Community Care Network retail pharmacies and urgent care locations. This replaces the Walgreens Retail Immunization Care Coordination Program, which ended in March 2020.
Veterans can use the VA locator to find a VA facility, in-network retail pharmacy or urgent care location near them by using this link: https://www.va.gov/find-locations . Alternatively, veterans can call 877-881-7618 to find a location.