A flu shot is an important part of staying healthy during the flu season, and this year veterans served by the St. Cloud VA Health Care System have multiple options to get a flu shot. During flu season, flu shots are available as part of any scheduled VA appointment. Just ask the nurse or doctor at your next appointment.

In October, numerous walk-in clinics are available at local VA facilities:

St. Cloud VA Medical Center

• Oct. 3: 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., in Bldg. 96

• Oct. 4 and 5: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in Bldg. 96

• Saturdays, Oct. 7, 14, 21, and 28: 8 a.m. to noon, in Bldg. 1

• Tuesdays, Oct. 10, 17, 24, and 31: 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., in Bldg. 1

• Weekdays, Oct. 10 - 31: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., in the Urgent Care Clinic

Brainerd VA Clinic:

• Oct. 3: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• Oct. 5: 10 a.m. to noon

• Oct. 17: 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

• Oct. 27: 10 a.m. to noon

Max J. Beilke VA Clinic (Alexandria)

• Oct. 13 and 27: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

VA flu clinics are for enrolled veterans only. No appointment is necessary to get vaccinated at a walk-in clinic.

The Department of Veterans Affairs has teamed up with Walgreens Pharmacies nationwide to allow all veterans who are currently enrolled in the VA healthcare system to be able walk into any Walgreens to receive a vaccination at no cost. Veterans wishing to receive the vaccination at Walgreens simply need to present a Veterans Health Identification Card and a photo ID, at any participating Walgreens to receive the vaccination.

In addition, after the Walgreens pharmacist administers the vaccine Walgreens will transmit that information securely to VA where it becomes part of the patient's electronic medical record.

Veterans getting vaccinated outside the VA or through Walgreens are asked to tell us about it at your next appointment. VA is committed to keeping veteran patients healthy and vaccination is the best way to prevent the spread of flu. No matter where veterans live, they can visit a local VA clinic or Walgreens to get a free flu shot.

As always please see your local County Veterans Service Officer if you have any questions. You can contact your local VSO at (218) 631-7617 or by email at david.anderson@co.wadena.mn.us and as always have a great week.