In the Spotlight
Flu Shots For Veterans
Fall means cool air, colorful leaves and cozy sweaters. But, it also means flu season. The flu can spread easily. All it takes to catch it is for someone with the sniffles to cough, laugh or sneeze within three to six feet of you. Some flu cases can become very serious, resulting in hospitalization or even death.
Which means it's a good time to get your flu vaccination.
It's important to remember that anyone can get the flu. But you are more likely to become infected if you:
Have a weakened immune system
Have regular, close contact with young children
Work in a health care setting where you may be exposed to flu germs
Live or work with someone who has the flu
Haven't received an annual flu shot
The flu virus changes over time, so vaccinations are updated to keep up with the changes. Health care providers recommend getting the flu vaccine each fall or winter. Get a flu shot as soon as it is available so you don't spend the winter months in tissues. Vaccination is the surest way to protect against getting the flu.
Veterans who are receiving VA health care can get the flu shot at a nearby VA health care facility. Veterans can also receive their flu shot at Walgreens, and the information will be automatically added to their VA health record. Learn more about VA's partnership with Walgreens. For Veterans who have non-VA health care providers, see where you can get your flu shot.
Go to the VA Public Health's Vaccination page to learn all about the flu vaccination. Also, remember to add your flu vaccination into your Personal Health Record in Track History.
Can't tell if you are always popping cough drops because you have a cold or the flu? While both conditions are usually associated with sore throats, runny noses, fatigue or headaches, the flu often has additional discomforts such as chills, muscle aches or fevers. Follow this self-assessment chart (PDF) to view the differences.