FALLS CHURCH, Va. –
Are you preparing to spend time with friends and family this holiday season? Now is a good time to make sure you and your loved ones are up to date with COVID-19, flu, and RSV vaccines. TRICARE covers these vaccines based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.
“Vaccination against flu, COVID-19, and RSV offers the best protection from serious illness caused by these diseases,” said Capt. John Iskander, MD, MPH, chief, Immunization Healthcare Division, Defense Health Agency. “People ages 6 months and older should get the seasonal flu vaccine and updated COVID-19 vaccine. Certain people, including older adults, pregnant people, and infants, can get vaccinated against RSV.”
Read on to learn about the vaccines recommended for you and where to get them.
Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines
Flu and COVID-19 are contagious diseases that affect millions of Americans each year. These diseases can cause severe illness, hospitalization, and even death. The seasonal flu vaccine and the updated COVID-19 vaccine can help reduce these risks. The updated COVID-19 vaccine can also reduce your risk of developing Long COVID.
The CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older get vaccinated against flu and COVID-19. This year’s flu vaccine is available as a flu shot or nasal spray. COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech, and Novavax have all been updated for the 2023-2024 season. The types of flu and COVID-19 vaccines you can get are based on your age and other factors. Your health care provider can help you decide which options are best for you.
RSV is a common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. However, infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV. This can lead to hospitalization.
TRICARE covers RSV vaccines for certain people, based on CDC recommendations:
- All infants younger than 8 months
- Infants and children ages 8 to 19 months at increased risk for developing severe RSV
- Adults ages 60 and older
- Pregnant people during weeks 32 through 36 of pregnancy
Where Can I Get Vaccinated?
There are three ways you can get these vaccines at no cost:
- Go to a military hospital or clinic. Call ahead to make sure the vaccine is available.
- Go to a TRICARE retail network pharmacy. Make sure the person who gives you the vaccine is a pharmacist. If another type of provider gives you a vaccine at a participating pharmacy, you may have out-of-pocket costs.
- See a TRICARE-authorized provider. However, if you get other services at the same time, you may have to pay copayments or cost-shares. These costs vary based on your health plan.
You can get the flu, COVID-19, and RSV vaccines recommended for you at the same time.
Talk to your provider if you have questions about vaccines. For more info on vaccine coverage, check out Immunizations.
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