Q: I am a veteran who utilizes the VA for my primary health care. I am nearly 70 years old and am in relatively good health. I hear a lot about getting the flu vaccine each fall. What immunization vaccines are available at the VA?
A: There are two main vaccines recommended for all adults. These are the seasonal flu vaccine and the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, also known as whooping cough) followed by the Td (tetanus and diphtheria) booster every 10 years. Other vaccines include the pneumococcal vaccine (65 years and older) to protect against pneumonia and the zoster vaccine (60 years and older) to protect against shingles. If you have had chicken pox at any time in your life, the shingles virus is already present in your body. In addition, the HPV vaccine can protect against the human papillomavirus. These vaccines are available at the VA health care facility that you already use. Further information about these and other vaccines is available at the CDC Website (Center for Disease Control).
Did you know?
Veterans often do not realize that medical issues they are dealing with years after their military service could be connected with that military service. A study estimated that only about 70 percent of veterans who have service-connected medical issues actually file a claim for compensation. These veterans are not only not receiving benefits to which they may be entitled but it reduces the total amount of VA funding for all veterans who do file a claim. Disabled veterans who have been denied VA medical care benefits because their income is above the “means” test also can be eligible for VA medical care.
Did you know?
On or before Nov. 1, VA Secretary David Shulkin will announce whether additions will be made to the list of medical conditions the Department of Veteran Affairs presumes are associated to Agent Orange or other herbicides sprayed during the Vietnam War.
There are currently 14 presumptive diseases linked to herbicide exposure. Veterans of “boots on the ground” service in Vietnam should be alert to the upcoming announcement.
The Veterans Business Roadshow Campus Tour will be in Normal from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 22 at the ISU Alumni Center.
The workshop is offered by the Veterans Business Outreach Center at the Women’s Business Development Center serving Illinois (VBOC@WBDC) and is supported by Newman’s Own Foundation. The program is free and includes lunch. Seating is limited.