VA Portland Health Care System
Flu shots now available at the VA
It’s time to get your flu shot!
The Annual Influenza (Flu) Immunization Drive began September 15, 2015, in the VA Portland Health Care System Atrium of the main hospital and at your local VA health clinic. The walk-in flu clinic in the main hospital is open from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, Monday to Thursday, except holidays. For local clinic hours, please call the telephone message line at 503-808-1923, and press the number for your clinic.
You also can get your flu shot at a local Walgreens Pharmacy (subject to availability; other restrictions may apply). If you have other health insurance, tell the pharmacist that you get your care at the VA and show your VA ID card.
You do not need an appointment to get a flu shot at a VAPORHCS walk-in flu clinic or at a Walgreens Pharmacy. Veterans with scheduled medical appointments at any VA facility can ask for their flu shot at that time.
Why should you get a flu shot each year?
Influenza or “the flu” is caused by a virus and can be a serious infection. The flu can be prevented or at least made less severe by getting a flu shot. The best time to get a flu shot is as soon as the vaccine becomes available in September. However, getting a flu shot later still will protect you from the flu.
The flu spreads easily from person to person. The infection can be mild, but it also can cause severe illness or death. Certain people are at greater risk for severe illness if they get the flu. This includes older persons, young children and pregnant women; people with chronic health conditions such as diabetes, asthma or heart disease; and people who live in places like nursing homes.
All persons aged 6 months and older should get a flu shot, including persons with minor egg allergies. For most people with minor egg allergies, the benefits of getting a flu shot are greater than the risks of getting the flu. If you are allergic to eggs, please tell your health care provider so that special precautions can be made.
The flu shot is safe and it works. While it is not 100% effective in preventing the flu, if you get the shot and still get the flu, it is usually far less serious than if you did not get the shot. Sometimes there are side effects from the shot that may be mistaken for the flu, such as a sore arm, body aches or a slight fever.