HELENA — The Montana VA Health Care System (MTVAHCS) is excited to kick off the 2021 flu shot season beginning on October 5 as clinics across the state (Anaconda, Bozeman, Billings, Fort Harrison, Glendive, Great Falls, Havre, Miles City, and Glasgow) mobilize to help Montana Veterans receive their flu shots with walk-in and drive-up flu clinic options. The flu clinic schedule is available at https://www.montana.va.gov/features/Flu_Shots.asp. Veterans should bring their Veteran ID.
In addition to these large, one-day flu clinic events, enrolled Montana Veterans have other ways to get their free flu shot:
1. Veterans will be offered flu shots at primary care appointments.
2. Montana Veterans can find community locations to get no-cost flu shots at flu shot locations across Montana (via https://www.va.gov/communitycare/flushot.asp).
“Flu is always a preventable respiratory infection. Last year, Veterans and Montanans showed that this is possible,” said Dr. Judy Hayman, Executive Director. “We had low numbers of Veterans sick with the flu in 2020 because people got their flu shot, physically distanced, washed their hands, stayed home when ill, and prevented the spread of illness by wearing a mask.”
The flu vaccine gets updated annually, and Veterans should get a flu shot each year. The flu shot is safe and effective, and a person cannot get the flu from the flu shot. The flu virus most impacts high-risk groups such as adults who are 65 years or older, pregnant women, people in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, individuals with medical conditions (such as heart disease, asthma, and kidney or liver disorders), and people with weakened immune symptoms.
“It’s now more important than ever to get the flu shot as we continue to battle COVID-19. Right now, Montana’s ICUs and Emergency Departments are busy caring for COVID patients,” said Chief of Staff, Dr. JP Maganito. “The flu shot is a safe, compassionate way we can serve others by stopping the spread of the flu virus, and it also keeps ourselves and others healthy, and out of the hospital.”
Veterans who have questions about the flu shot or vaccines are encouraged to contact their provider. Veterans can also reference this Veterans Health Library guide to Flu Shots.
The MTVAHCS serves over 47,000 enrolled Veterans across Montana—an area roughly 147,000 square miles in size. Veterans are cared for by a staff of 1,400 at 17 sites of care across the state.One third of Montana VA employees are Veterans.
MTVHACS’ Flu Shot Clinic Schedule
Missoula VA Clinic: 2687 Palmer Street, Missoula, MT 59808
- Walk-In Flu Shots: Missoula-area Veterans can also come into the clinic’s C3 Lobby for walk-in flu shots every Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 10 a.m.
Kalispell VA Clinic: 31 Three Mile Drive, Kalispell
- Walk-In Flu Shot: Flu shots will be available every Wednesday from 8-10 a.m. through October 27. No appointment necessary!
Fort Harrison/Helena VA Medical Center Flu Clinic Information, 3687 Veterans Drive, Fort Harrison
- Drive-Up Flu Shots: Enrolled Veterans can receive a drive-up flu shot on October 5, 2021, from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m.
- Walk-In Flu Shots: Veterans can receive walk-in flu shots at the Fort Harrison Primary Care Clinic Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. To decrease wait time, there is a dedicated walk-in flu clinic at the Primary Care Clinic every Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. Please, enter through the new Primary Care Clinic entrance.