Captain James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center
Influenza Season 2021-2022
Get your flu vaccination at Lovell FHCC!
Lovell FHCC is committed to ensuring our eligible beneficiaries are protected from the flu. Department of Defense/TRICARE beneficiaries, please see below.
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 and specialty care appointments (to include Pulmonary, Cardiology, Endocrine and Mental Health).
NOTE: Walk-in availability has been impacted by the surge in COVID-19 cases. Appointments are preferred whenever possible.
If space allows for social distancing, veterans may walk-in from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. weekdays (for flu shots only), to the Immunizations Clinic/Bldg. 133EF Ambulatory Care Clinic (North Chicago hospital).
Veterans who want both the flu shot and a COVID-19 vaccination, at the same time, may report directly to the COVID-19 vaccine clinic located in Bldg. 133CA, second floor, next to Radiology/Imaging.
Veterans may call 224-610-3899 to schedule a flu shot appointment in the Immunizations Clinic in Bldg. 133EF (North Chicago hospital) or at any of our CBOCs. Veterans may also request a flu shot when scheduling other specialty care and mental health appointments.
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.
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.
The flu vaccine for our DoD patients is available for pediatric and adult TRICARE dependent beneficiaries in the Immunizations Clinic in Bldg. 133EF (North Chicago hospital), Monday through Friday from 8-11:30 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. Appointments are preferred with walk-ins available only as space allows. Please call 1-800-941-4501 to make an appointment.
For Active Duty beneficiaries, flu vaccines are available from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., weekdays except Thursday, at Fisher Clinic, Building 237 on Naval Station Great Lakes. Thursday hours are 7:30 a.m. to noon.
TRICARE beneficiaries may also go to 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. All active duty personnel are required to get the influenza vaccine per DOD Instruction 6205.02.
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.
2. All VA civilian 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 supervisor for all employees declaring exemptions, and also a signature from a physician for employees declaring medical 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 who turned in their Appendix B forms to the Employee Occupational Health, Building 133CA, Room 2D-135, by Nov. 30, 2021, are 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 email@example.com.
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 flu season and when should I get vaccinated?
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six 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 four 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.