The VA flyer for the Minneapolis 3-day Flu Clinics (late Oct.) arrived today but is silent about the Walgreens option. Not exactly in the “partnership” frame of mind yet, I guess. The Minn. VAMC is about 35 miles away so my spouse agreed to be a test case and went to Walgreens last Saturday instead of waiting.
A staffer consulted her instruction papers and asked for his VA ID card. She entered some info. into the computer. Then she asked if he had any other insurance cards like Medicare. He provided his Medicare Advantage card. She entered more information into the system and confirmed his allergy history.
She said that the VA is the secondary payer if the vet has other insurance and that Walgreens bills Medicare or the private insurance first. (She asked if he wanted a three or four quad vaccine but said not all insurances pay for the quad.) He opted for the three.
After filling out a brief questionnaire, the pharmacist then gave him a safe injection (one needle, one syringe, used only one time) in a private room. The whole thing took 10-15 minutes. No co-pay. The record of the vaccination was transmitted to the VA electronically and should show up in his medical records.
We should get some balance reward points for the shot. And because he had it before Oct. 13 deadline for the Get a Shot. Give a Shot. UN vaccine donation program got a donation. Staffers said the program was nationwide. In fact, whoever heads this pilot program, might actually deserve a modest bonus if the roll-out is a big success because many veterans don’t get a flu shot for a variety of reasons. But only if there is NO co-pay for any enrolled vet.
By not informing vets that they can go to Walgreens for the shot is simply one of their control games. Please, please, don’t waste our time, energy and taxpayer money for massive mailings and leave out facts vets deserve to know. But wherever you get a flu shot, be sure it’s not attached to a multi-dose vial or god forbid, the new “state-of-the-art jet injectors that medical device companies are still trying to push.