Free Flu Shots Available for Enrolled Veterans - San Francisco VA Health Care System
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San Francisco VA Health Care System


Free Flu Shots Available for Enrolled Veterans

Nurse prepares flu shot for patient

A Veterans Affairs Nurse prepares to administer an Influenza vaccination for a patient.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

The San Francisco VA Health Care System is now offering free flu shots for the 2019 flu season for enrolled Veterans at all of our outpatient clinics.

But who should get a flu shot? Does it make you sick? Is it safe? Where can enrolled Veterans receive a free flu shot from the San Francisco VA? We have the answers to your most common flu questions.

Common Questions about the Flu Vaccine

  • Who should get a flu shot?
    Influenza is a common, often miserable, illness that can cause serious health problems in some people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that every person age 6 months of age and older should receive a flu shot every season.

  • Can I get the flu from a flu shot?
    This is a common question. According to the CDC, you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Only inactive (dead) flu viruses are used to make the flu shot vaccines.

  • What if I get the flu soon after getting a flu shot?
    This could mean: - It usually takes at least two weeks for the flu vaccine to start working. You might have been exposed to the flu virus before the flu shot took effect. - You have a weak immune system or other illness that causes your body to take longer to make antibodies and build immunity. - Your body fails to make antibodies after getting a flu shot. - The flu shot vaccine does not match all the flu viruses that are currently spreading.

  • Are flu shots safe?
    The CDC says flu vaccines are one of the safest medical products in use today. Flu shots are also the easiest way for people to protect themselves and their families from the flu.

Where can enrolled Veterans get a free flu shot from the San Francisco VA?

1. During Scheduled Appointments. Enrolled Veterans can request a free flu shot during any scheduled appointment.

2. Walk-in Basis. Enrolled Veterans can take their Veteran Health Identification Card to the Medical Practice Clinic at the San Francisco VA Medical Center or any San Francisco VA community based outpatient clinic and receive a free flu shot on a walk-in basis. Below are the best times to quickly get your flu shot.

San Francisco VA Medical Center
Medical Practice

8:30 a.m - 12 p.m.
1 - 4 p.m.


8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

San Bruno

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

San Francisco

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Santa Rosa

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.


8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.



3. Walgreens.VA and Walgreens are national partners, providing no-cost flu shots to enrolled Veterans of the VA health care system. During the program, which runs through March 31, 2020, enrolled Veteran patients nationwide have the option of getting their flu shot at any of Walgreens’ 8,200 locations in addition to their local VA health care facilities. No appointment is required; simply go to any Walgreens, tell the pharmacist you receive care at a VA facility, and show your Veterans Health Identification Card and another form of photo ID. For more information visit the VA Retail Immunization Care Coordination Program page.

Where can Veterans and their families get more information about the flu vaccine?

For more information about flu vaccinations visit the CDC or VHA Public Health websites.


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