Influenza Season 2021-2022 - Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
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Influenza Season 2021-2022

Get your flu vaccination at Lovell FHCC!

It's time to receive your flu vaccination at Lovell FHCC - both at our main hospital and at our Community Based Outpatient Clinics (CBOCs) in Kenosha, Wis., and Evanston and McHenry, Ill.

Lovell FHCC is committed to ensuring our eligible beneficiaries are protected from the flu. Department of Defense/TRICARE beneficiaries, please see below.

(Information for Department of Defense beneficiaries.)

Veterans may receive flu vaccinations if they are enrolled for care with the Department of Veterans Affairs. Eligible veterans with proof of service (such as a DD214 form) may enroll at all our locations. Veterans may receive their flu vaccinations during primary care appointments. 

Walk-in times and days:

NOTE: Walk-in availability is based on available space (to ensure social distancing).

Veterans may walk-in to the PACT Clinic/Bldg. 133CA in North Chicago these times and days:

  • 8-11:30 a.m., Wednesdays
  • 1-3 p.m., Fridays

Veterans also may walk-in to the Immunizations Clinic/Bldg. 133EF Ambulatory Care Clinic from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays.

Walk-in times at the McHenry CBOC are as follows:

  • 9 a.m. to noon and 1-3:30 p.m., Mondays and Tuesdays
  • 9-11:30 a.m., Wednesdays
  • 9-11:30 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays

By appointment:

Veterans may call 224-610-3899 to schedule an appointment in the Immunizations Clinic in Bldg. 133EF/Ambulatory Care Clinic, at our North Chicago hospital.

To schedule an appointment at one of our CBOCs during the week, call 224-610-3899. Kenosha CBOC appointments are available 8-11:15 a.m. and 1-3:30 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays. Evanston CBOC nurse appointments are available 1-2:45 p.m., Mondays; 8-11:15 a.m. and 1-2:45 p.m., Thursdays; 8-11:15 a.m., Fridays.

Patients with Primary Care appointments scheduled at our main hospital or at one of our CBOCs will be offered flu shots at that time. Additionally, flu shots are offered during appointments in our Specialty Care clinics and in the Mental Health Clinic. Flu shots also will be available to our Department of Defense beneficiaries who have scheduled appointments.

Department of Defense beneficiaries, call 1-800-941-4501 to schedule an appointment. Veterans, please call 224-610-3899 to make an appointment.

Flu vaccinations in the community:

Less travel, less hassle

This year, veterans may get a flu shot at their local CVS pharmacies or other retail pharmacies (in the VA network*), and then have the immunization information transferred directly to Lovell FHCC. Veterans enrolled for VA health care can walk into their nearest CVS and get a regular dose shot, through March 2022. Veterans are asked to show photo ID and their Veteran ID card. NOTE: Not all CVS pharmacies are in the VA network. Please go to Find VA Locations | Veterans Affairs to find a VA location or in-network community care provider.

*Note: Walgreens is no longer contracted with the VA.

Lovell FHCC follows CDC guidelines for the provision of flu shots. If you are under 65 years old, you should receive the standard dose vaccine. If you are 65 and older, or ordered by your doctor, you should receive the high-dose flu shot.

Please note veterans 65 and older who go to CVS to receive FLUAD, a trivalent vaccine specially formulated to stimulate a greater immune response, will have to pay out-of-pocket or file with their third-party insurance. Veterans may visit Find VA Locations | Veterans Affairs to find a pharmacy near them that is providing free flu shots.


Learn more about getting your shot in the community from the Department of Community Care.

Department of Defense beneficiaries:

The flu vaccine for our DoD patients is available for pediatric and adult TRICARE beneficiaries in Immunizations 133EF Clinic Monday through Friday from 0800-1130 and 1300-1500. Appointments are preferred with walk-ins available on a space available basis. Please call 1-800-941-4501 to make an appointment.

For Active Duty beneficiaries, walk-in appointments are available now at Building 3- Room B125 on Naval Station Great Lakes. Flu vaccines will also be available for walk-in appointments at Fisher Clinic, Building 237 on Naval Station Great Lakes, starting Nov. 18. Walk-in vaccination opportunities for large tenant command staff and students should be coordinated through command leadership. Command leaders can contact HM1 Ronald Fells ronald.l.fells2.mil@mail.mil and LCDR Shane Modglin at joseph.s.modglin.mil@mail.mil to coordinate a mass vaccination event.

TRICARE beneficiaries may also go a TRICARE community partner. DoD/TRICARE beneficiaries, please visit the TRICARE Influenza Vaccination Page for more information https://tricare.mil/coveredservices/isitcovered/fluvaccine. Under “Participating Network Pharmacy” select “Search online” then “Find a pharmacy” and enter your zip code. Please note, Walgreen's continues to be contracted to provide the vaccine to our TRICARE (including Active Duty) beneficiaries. CVS is no longer contracted with TRICARE.

If you work at Lovell FHCC:

Per VHA Directive 1192.01, Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program for VHA Health Care Personnel, released in August 2020, staff are required to get the influenza vaccine.

1. All staff members are required to have an annual influenza vaccination, as a condition of employment. There are two exemptions to this mandate: medical and religious. (All active duty personnel also are required to get flu shots).   

2. All VA staff at the FHCC are required to fill out Form 10-9050 Health Care Personnel Influenza Vaccination Form, also known as Appendix B, and turn in to Employee Occupational Health, regardless of where the vaccine was provided, including the FHCC.

3. Please note, the Form 10-9050 Appendix B now requires signatures from a physician and a supervisor for employees declaring exemptions. Employees not declaring exemptions do not need signatures from either a physician or supervisor.

4. Employees declaring exemptions are required to notify supervisors of their exemption status but they are not required to divulge their medical conditions to supervisors, as that is HIPAA protected information.

Employees are to turn in their Appendix B forms to the Employee Occupational Health, Building 133CA, Room 2D-135, by Nov. 30, 2021 to be considered compliant with the directive. 

Questions? Please contact the EOH staff at 224-610-4215 or ext. 84215, or FHCCLovellOccupationalHealthClinic-WestCampusB133@va.gov. To schedule an appointment in EOH for a flu shot, send an email to fhcclovelloccupationalhealthclinic-westcampusb133ca@va.gov.

Nurse administering flu vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions about the 2021-22 Influenza Season, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

What’s new for 2021-22?

  • All flu vaccines will be quadrivalent (four component), meaning designed to protect against four different flu viruses that research indicates will be the most common.
  • Flu vaccines and COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time.
  • More detailed guidance about the recommended timing of flu vaccination for some groups of people is available.

Will new flu viruses circulate this season?

Flu viruses are constantly changing so it’s not unusual for new flu viruses to appear each year.

When will flu activity begin and when will it peak?

The timing of flu is difficult to predict and can vary in different parts of the country and from season to season. Reduced population immunity due to lack of flu virus activity since March 2020 could result in an early and possibly severe flu season. 

What should I do to prepare for this flu season and when should I get vaccinated?

CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. September and October are generally good times to be vaccinated. Ideally, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of October. Adults, especially those older than 65, should not get vaccinated early (in July or August) because protection in this group may decrease over time. Children can get vaccinated as soon as vaccine becomes available—even if this is in July or August. Some children need two doses. For those children it is recommended to get the first dose as soon as vaccine is available, because the second needs to be given at least 4 weeks after the first. Early vaccination can also be considered for people who are in the third trimester of pregnancy, because this can help protect their infants during the first months of life (when they are too young to be vaccinated).

What is the difference between flu and COVID-19?

Flu and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. COVID-19 is caused by infection with a coronavirus (called SARS-CoV-2) and seasonal flu (most often just called “flu”) is caused by infection with one of many influenza viruses that spread annually among people.

Because some symptoms of flu and COVID-19 are similar, people may need to be tested to tell what virus is causing their illness. People can be infected with both a flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 at the same time. In general, COVID-19 seems to spread more easily than flu and causes more serious illnesses in some people. Compared with people who have flu infections, people who have COVID-19 can take longer to show symptoms and be contagious for longer. This FAQ page compares COVID-19 and flu, given the best available information to date.

If I get sick with the flu, am I at higher risk of contracting COVID-19?

Because COVID-19 is still a relatively new illness, we have little information about how flu illness might affect a person’s risk of getting COVID-19. We do know that people can be infected with flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 at the same time. Getting a flu vaccine is the best protection against flu and its potentially serious complications, and getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection against COVID-19.

Is there a test that can detect both flu and COVID-19?

Yes. There are tests that will check for seasonal influenza A and B viruses and SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Testing for these viruses at the same time gives public health officials important information about how flu and COVID-19 are spreading and what prevention steps people should take. These tests also help public health laboratories save time and testing materials, and possibly return test results faster.

Will a flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19?

Flu vaccines are not designed to protect against COVID-19. Flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness, hospitalization and death in addition to other important benefits.

Likewise, getting a COVID-19 vaccine is the best protection against COVID-19, but those vaccines are not designed to protect against flu. Visit the CDC’s Frequently Asked Questions page for information about COVID-19 vaccinations.

Does a flu vaccination increase your risk of getting COVID-19?

No. There is no evidence that getting a flu vaccination raises your risk of getting sick from COVID-19 or any other coronavirus. (Common human coronaviruses usually cause mild to moderate upper-respiratory tract illnesses, like the common cold.)

Beyond flu shots, there are other important ways to protect yourself and others from the flu and many of them mirror COVID-19 precautions, including:

  • Washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs.
  • When sick, staying home from work or school to prevent spreading your illness.
  • Wearing a face mask
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from others

While there are no “foolproof” prescriptions for good health, there are evidence-based tools and practices that can lower our risks of serious medical complications.

FHCC follows CDC guidelines in the provision of flu shots. If you are under 65, you should receive the standard dose vaccine. If you are 65 and older, or ordered by your doctor, you should receive the high-dose flu shot. High-dose flu shots are not licensed for those 64 and younger and may require a co-pay. For beneficiaries concerned with getting a flu shot during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit www.CDC.gov.