TRICARE Flu Resources

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness. The flu can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. The flu spreads through coughing, sneezing and personal contact.

We recommend that all beneficiaries get vaccinated. If infected, some people are at a higher risk for serious illness. 

TRICARE Coverage

TRICARE covers two forms of the flu vaccine:

Flu Shot

  • An injectable, inactivated vaccine that contains a killed virus
  • Recommended for all age groups 6 months to 64 years
  • High dose version available for those aged 65 years and older

Flu Mist

  • An intranasal spray made with live, weakened virus
  • Limited to those between the ages of 2 and 49 years
  • Not for pregnant women

Getting the Flu Vaccine

You can get the flu vaccine at no cost in three ways:

Military Hospital or Clinic

Participating Network Pharmacy

To find a participating network pharmacy:

Call the pharmacy first to ask:

  • What days and times can you get the vaccine?
  • Who gives the vaccine—a pharmacist or a provider from an in-pharmacy clinic?
    • Only vaccines given by a pharmacist are covered by the pharmacy benefit for free. If your vaccine is administered by a provider at an onsite clinic, it may not be covered and you may have to pay the entire cost.
    • You can still go to your doctor for the vaccine if the pharmacy has restrictions or it isn’t available. But, you may have to pay copayments or cost shares for the office visit.
  • Are there any restrictions, including for children?
    • If your state has a restriction, you should go to your primary care physician or a military hospitals or clinic for the vaccine.

TRICARE-Authorized Provider

  • Find a Doctor
  • Follow your plan’s rules for getting care
  • You’ll need to pay your copayment or cost share for the office visit
  • Active duty service members must have a referral to get the vaccine from any provider other than their primary care manager.

Are you an active duty or Guard/Reserve member?

You’re required to get the flu vaccine.

  • You have priority to get the vaccine at military hospitals and military clinics. 
  • You can also get vaccines at participating retail network pharmacies.

If you go to a participating network pharmacy:

  • You must get the vaccine from a pharmacist.
  • Don’t get the vaccine from an onsite medical clinic at the pharmacy, or you will have to pay the entire cost of the medication.

If you go to a network doctor other than your primary care manager (PCM), you must get a referral from your PCM. 

When you get a flu vaccine from a participating network pharmacy, follow your Service policy guidance for recording the vaccine in your shot record. You'll need the following information:

  • The date the vaccine was given
  • The vaccine name or code
  • Manufacturer
  • Lot number
Are you a federal employee?

Visit the Office of Personnel Management for guidance.

Last Updated 1/7/2015