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Miami VA Healthcare System

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Free Flu Shots Available for Enrolled Veterans

Female patient smiling after getting a flu shot from smiling female doctor

The easiest way to protect yourself and those around you is by getting vaccinated.

Monday, September 19, 2016

The beginning of fall also means flu season will be here soon, which means it’s time to start thinking about getting a flu shot. Beginning Sept. 21, the Miami VA Healthcare System will begin offering free flu shots for enrolled Veterans at all its outpatient clinics.

But who should get a flu shot? Does it make you sick? Is it safe? Where can enrolled Veterans get a free flu shot from the Miami 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:
    - You were 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 Miami VA?

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

2. Walk-in Basis. Enrolled Veterans can request a free flu shot at any Miami VA outpatient clinic on a walk-in basis. Because morning hours are usually busiest at outpatient clinics, the times listed below are when Veterans will experience the shortest wait times.

    Bruce W. Carter
    VAMC Lobby

    Monday-Friday
    8 a.m.-4 p.m.

    Homestead
    CBOC

    Monday-Friday
    (Thursdays are best.)
    1-4 p.m.

    Pembroke Pines
    CBOC

    Monday-Friday
    1-4 p.m.

    Deerfield Beach
    CBOC

    Monday-Friday
    1-4 p.m.

    Key Largo
    CBOC

    Monday-Friday
    1-4 p.m.

    William "Bill" Kling
    VA Clinic

    Monday-Friday
    1-4 p.m.

    Hollywood
    CBOC

    Monday-Friday
    1-4 p.m.

    Key West
    OC

    Monday-Friday
    1-4 p.m.

     

3. Flu Kick-Off Events. To give enrolled Veterans another option for quickly getting a flu shot, every year the Miami VA holds flu kick-off events at the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center and the William “Bill” Kling VA Clinic.
- Sept. 21, 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. in the Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center’s T.C. Doherty Auditorium (second floor)
- Oct. 5, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Flu Shot Drive-Thru at the William “Bill” Kling VA Clinic

4. Flu Centrals.
- Bruce W. Carter VA Medical Center Lobby
Beginning Sept. 22, every Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
- William "Bill" Kling VA Clinic Alpha Clinic
From Sept. 21 to Oct. 31, every Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

5. Walgreens. VA and Walgreens are national partners, providing no-cost flu shots to enrolled Veterans of the VA health care system. Enrolled Veteran patients nationwide have the option of getting their flu shot at any of Walgreens’ 8,000 locations in addition to their local VA health care facilities. For more information visit the VAntage Point blog.

What if I received a flu shot outside the VA health care system?

If you received this year's flu vaccine outside the VA health care system, please help us keep your medical records up-to-date by calling our Care Line at 305-575-7030. The Care Line is open every Monday to Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

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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