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Flu vaccination clinics for eligible veterans across Central Minnesota

Veterans can get flu shots at drive-thru clinics in September and October.

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Wadena County Public health urges all to be vaccinated for the flu virus before the peak of the season. File photo
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During this flu season, flu shots for Veterans served by the St. Cloud VA Health Care System are available as part of any scheduled VA appointment, at drive thru flu shot clinics and through the VA Community Care Network, according to a St. Cloud VA news release.

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 the release. 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.

Veterans attending a scheduled appointment at the St. Cloud VA or the 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, drive-thru flu clinics for enrolled veterans only are being offered. No appointment is necessary to get vaccinated at the drive-thru clinics.

Veterans using the drive-thru clinics will undergo screening for vaccine allergies and COVID-19 symptoms. Veterans are encouraged to prescreen for COVID-19 by using the VA’s COVID-19 screening tool at www.va.gov/covid19screen/ . To ensure everyone’s safety, vaccinations for veterans with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 will be deferred at the drive-thru clinics and veterans will be directed to other treatment locations, according to the release.

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Safety and weather related postponements or suspensions of drive-thru clinic locations will be announced at www.stcloud.va.gov and www.facebook.com/stcloudvahcs .

For efficiency purposes, 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.

Flu clinic drive-thru dates and locations

St. Cloud VA Medical Center, 4801 Veterans Drive, St. Cloud

Oct. 17 & 24, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., in Bldg. 116 Parking Lot (Rehabilitation Center)

St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex (MAC) Parking Lot, 5001 Veterans Drive, St. Cloud (next door/west of the VA Medical Center)

-Sep. 28 & 29, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. & Oct. 13, 14 & 15, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

-Please enter via the MAC parking lot west entrance along 54 th Ave. North/CR 134, by the City of St. Cloud water tower .

Douglas County Fairgrounds, 800 3rd Ave. W., Alexandria

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Sep. 25, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. & Oct. 9, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Brainerd VA Clinic Parking Lot, 722 NW Seventh St., Brainerd

Sep. 30, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. & Oct. 1, 27 & 28, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Montevideo VA Clinic Parking Lot, 1025 North 13th St., Montevideo

Sep. 23, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. & Oct. 2, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

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 does not recommend any influenza vaccine over another as “preferred,” according to the release.

Other flu shot options

  • Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system may use in-network retail pharmacies to obtain a flu shot.
  • Veterans enrolled in the VA health care system and who have received care from a VA or in-network community provider in the past 24 months may also use CCN urgent care clinic locations to obtain a flu shot.
  • Veterans using the CCN should tell the in-network community care staff they are an eligible veteran enrolled with the VA and show a government-issued identification (e.g., Veterans Health Identification Card or driver’s license).
  • Stand-alone flu shot visits to in-network community urgent care providers are co-pay free and are not counted as an urgent care visit. Other vaccinations are not available through the CCN.

The VA is committed to keeping veteran patients healthy, and vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of flu, according to the release.

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