VA NorCal Now Offering COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

Update 10/05/2021

On Sept. 24, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) identified and recommended several groups of people who should get the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine booster. They Include:

  • Individuals who should get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster dose:
    • People 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings who received a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 primary vaccine series at least six months ago
    • People 50 to 64 years old with underlying medical conditions who received a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 primary vaccine series at least six months ago   
  • Individuals who may opt to get a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster dose, based on their individual benefits and risks, including:
    • People 18 to 49 years old with underlying medical conditions who received a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 primary vaccine series at least six months ago
    • People 18 to 64 years old who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of their occupational or institutional setting who received a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 primary vaccine series at least six months ago

We will offer the Pfizer-BioNTech booster vaccines to all Veterans, spouses, caregivers, CHAMPVA recipients under the authority of the SAVE LIVES Act and VA employees.

Currently, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine has been authorized as a booster shot. FDA and CDC continue to review data to determine whether and when a booster might be recommended for people who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson (J&J/Janssen) COVID-19 vaccines. 

How do I schedule my COVID Vaccine Booster?

You can request an appointment at your nearest VA facility for your booster shot whether you received your initial series at VA or outside of VA. Please note that there must be a minimum interval of six months between the second dose of your initial series and your booster dose. Please make sure to bring your CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card! This is particularly important if your initial series was given outside of VA. To ensure you can receive a booster dose as quickly as possible and sufficient supply is available, we highly recommend scheduling an appointment. Walk-in visits are welcome while supplies last.

  • By Appointment: Call 1-800-382-8387, option 8. The call center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., excluding federal holidays, Monday through Friday. Veterans enrolled in VA health care can also request an appointment by

sending a Secure Message to “COVID VACCINE SCHEDULING – NCHCS” in My HealtheVet

  • Walk-in: With the exception of the Yreka VA Clinic, first, second, third doses; boosters; and flu shots are available on a walk-in basis during the following hours:
  • Sacramento VA Medical Center Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines offered on Thursdays. Building 650, first-floor auditorium
  • Martinez VA Medical Center Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines offered on Thursdays. Building AB-6
  • Chico VA Clinic Monday – Friday, 12 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines offered on Thursdays.
  • Fairfield VA Clinic Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines offered on Thursdays.
  • Mare Island VA Clinic Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines offered on Thursdays.
  • McClellan VA Clinic Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines offered on Thursdays.
  • Oakland VA Clinic Tuesdays only 9 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. (Moderna for first, second, third doses only) 1 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. (Pfizer-BioNTech)
  • Redding VA Clinic Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines offered on Thursdays.
  • Sierra Foothills VA Clinic – Auburn Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines offered on Thursdays.
  • Yreka VA Clinic Thursday, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m. (Appointment only) Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines offered.
  • Yuba VA Clinic Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccines offered on Thursdays.

Who can get a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine at VA?

A third dose of COVID-19 Vaccine is available to patients who received both doses of either the Pfizer OR Moderna vaccine and have an immunocompromised medical condition. Individuals should contact their care team if they have any questions.

What if I receive my booster shot or third dose outside of VA?

If a Veteran decides to receive their booster shot or third dose outside of VA, they are encouraged to share this information with their VA care team. 

We also continue to encourage all Veterans to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible if they have not done so already. We offer first and second dose COVID-19 vaccinations at all VA NorCal locations. For more info, visit https://www.va.gov/northern-california-health-care/programs/covid-19-vaccines/.

Everyone entering our facilities is screened and face masks are mandatory. 

Veterans should check-in for scheduled appointments from the safety of their vehicle by sending the word “here” to 53079. This will notify your care team that you are at the facility waiting to be called into your appointment. You must use a mobile phone that is on file in your electronic health record.

Update 06/15/2021

Last week, VA Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS) announced it will begin offering Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccinations to adolescents ages 12 to 17, who are caregivers of Veterans or are CHAMPVA beneficiaries under the SAVE LIVES Act, on June 10 at the Sacramento VA Medical Center and Martinez VA Outpatient Clinic.

COVID-19 vaccines will be available to Veteran caregivers and those who qualify as beneficiaries under VA’s Civilian Health and Medical Program. The expansion is in line with recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration. Previously, VA was only vaccinating adults age 18 and older.

“VA NorCal is honored to expand its offering of the COVID-19 vaccine to the adolescents who care for Veterans under this new expanded authority,” said David Stockwell, VANCHCS Director. “We look forward to helping our communities move forward in beating this pandemic.”

When receiving COVID-19 vaccinations, adolescents must have a parent or legal guardian present. To learn about vaccine clinic hours or how to schedule an appointment, please visit www.northerncalifornia.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp or call 1-800-382-8387 and select option 8.

UPDATE 05/12/2021

On 05/10/2021, the VA announced it would be offering COVID-19 vaccinations on a walk-in basis to eligible Veterans, spouses, and caregivers.

Acting VA Under Secretary for Health Richard Stone, M.D., said, “VA encourages those who wish to get their COVID-19 vaccine without an appointment to check the walk-in hours and requirements at their local facility. Individuals taking advantage of walk-in vaccinations may need to wait for the vaccine to be prepared and will be screened when entering the facility.”

VA Northern California has updated it’s vaccine page with walk-in hours for all facilities, click here to see more.

Additionally, starting on 05/13/2021, VA NorCal will begin offering the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine every Thursday at all sites. With the exception of the Yreka VA Clinic, no appointment is needed; for Yreka, call (530) 841-8500.

Check out the VA NorCal COVID-19 Vaccine page for more information.

UPDATE 04/06/2021

VA NorCal expanding COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans, caregivers and spouses under SAVE LIVES Act

The VA Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS) announced today it is now providing COVID-19 vaccinations to anyone who served in the military, and their caregivers and spouses, and some other beneficiaries under the authority granted by the SAVE LIVES Act, signed by President Joe Biden March 24, 2021. This includes:

  • All Veterans
  • Spouses and surviving spouses of Veterans
  • Caregivers of Veterans. For COVID-19 vaccine eligibility, we define a caregiver as a family member or friend who provides care to a Veteran. Caregivers may help a Veteran with personal needs like feeding, bathing, or dressing. They may also help a Veteran with tasks like shopping or transportation.
  • Recipients of Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA) benefits.

The expanded authority depends on readily available COVID-19 vaccine supply and requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to continue to prioritize Veterans enrolled in VA care.

For more information on VA NorCal’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts, please visit www.northerncalifornia.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp.

Read more: https://www.northerncalifornia.va.gov/NORTHERNCALIFORNIA/features/save_lives_act.asp

UPDATE 03/24/2021

Click photo for Facebook event page on the vaccine drive-up.

VA Northern California Health Care System is holding a drive-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, March 27, 2021 at the Sacramento VA Medical Center, Mather, CA. The address is 10535 Hospital Way, Mather, CA 95655.

Enrolled Veterans who already receive their care at VA, regardless of age, and their registered caregivers will be able to receive a free COVID-19 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine without leaving their vehicles. Veterans will also be scheduled to return 21 days later to receive a second dose of the vaccine during this event.

Appointments are required.

Enrolled Veterans and registered caregivers can request an appointment by:

  • Sending a Secure Message in My HealtheVet to COVID VACCINE SCHEDULING – NCHCS
  • Calling 1-800-382-8387 and selecting option 8. The VANCHCS call center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., excluding federal holidays, Monday through Friday.

Caregivers must be registered in the VA Caregiver Support Program and will be verified by the scheduler when calling to make an appointment.

For more information on COVID-19 vaccines at the VANCHCS, please visit https://www.northerncalifornia.va.gov/services/covid-19-vaccines.asp.

Update (03/09/2021)

The VA Northern California Health Care System is now offering COVID-19 vaccines to all enrolled Veterans who already receive their care at VA, regardless of age, and their registered caregivers.

COVID-19 vaccinations are available by appointment only at any of our vaccine clinics in Mather, Martinez, Auburn, Chico, Fairfield, Mare Island, McClellan, Oakland, Redding, Yreka and Yuba City. 

Enrolled Veterans and registered caregivers can request an appointment by:

  • sending a Secure Message in My HealtheVet to COVID VACCINE SCHEDULING – NCHCS
  • calling 1-800-382-8387 and selecting option 8. The call center is open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., excluding federal holidays, Monday through Friday.

Caregivers must be registered in the VA Caregiver Support Program and will be verified by the scheduler when calling to make an appointment.

For the safety of our staff and Veterans, anyone without an appointment will not be able to access our campuses.

Bookmark our COVID-19 vaccines page to stay updated on our vaccine clinics. You can also sign-up for the VA’s “Keep Me Informed” tool to express your interest in getting the vaccine and receive updates about the VA’s vaccine efforts.

Not enrolled in VA health care? Click here to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply for VA health care. Once enrolled, you can request an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. You can also call our toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. This hotline is the fastest way to be enrolled in VA care.

UPDATE (03/02/2021)

The VA has opened up vaccinations to the following Veterans:

  • Age 55 & older
  • Essential workers regardless of age; you may be asked to show proof of essential work status)
    • Firefighters
    • Police officers
    • Corrections officers
    • Food & agriculture
    • U.S. Postal Service (USPS)
    • Manufacturing
    • Grocery stores
    • Public transit
    • Educational sector including teachers, support staff, and daycare
    • Transportation & logistics
    • Food service
    • Housing construction & finance
    • Information technology
    • Comunications
    • Energy
    • Law
    • Media
    • Public safety
    • Public health
  • On hemodialysis or chemotherapy
  • Organ transplant recipients
  • With diagnosis of ALS
  • Homeless
  • Residing in VA Centers for Rehabilitation & Extended Care (CRECs)

COVID-19 vaccinations are available at VANCHCS by appointment only. Veterans who receive their care at VA and fall in one of the groups listed above are being contacted and offered an appointment to receive a vaccine. If Veterans have not been contacted, they can send a My HealtheVet Secure Message to COVID VACCINE SCHEDULING – NCHCS or call 1-800-382-8387, select option 8, to request an appointment.

If you’re a Veteran who is not enrolled in VA health care, click here to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply for VA health care. Once enrolled, you can request an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. 

UPDATE (02/01/2021)

VA’s goal is to offer the vaccine to all eligible Veterans who choose to be vaccinated. Following CDC guidance, we are currently offering vaccines to some of our highest-risk patients, including Veterans:

  • residing in our Center for Rehabilitation and Extended Care
  • age 65 and older
  • on hemodialysis or chemotherapy
  • organ transplant recipients
  • with diagnosis of ALS
  • who are homeless.

Currently, COVID-19 vaccinations are available by-appointment only. Veterans who receive their care at VA and fall in the one of the criteria listed above are being contacted and offered an appointment to receive a vaccine. If you’re a Veteran who is not enrolled in VA health care, click here to find out if you’re eligible and how to apply for VA health care. Once enrolled, you can request an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine.

Eligible Veterans may contact us for an appointment via one of two methods:

Option One:

COVID Vaccine Secure Message  

  • Login to your My HealtheVet account: myhealth.va.govNote: you need a Premium account to access the Secure Messaging feature.​
  • On your home page, select the icon labeled “Messages.” ​
  • Select the Green icon labeled “Compose a Message.” ​
  • From here, filter the drop-down menu and select the team titled:​
    • COVID VACCINE SCHEDULING – NCHCS.
    • You can request an appointment day and time to receive your vaccination.
    • A scheduler will respond with your appointment confirmation and or other availability.

Option Two:

Contact our Call Center at 1-800-382-8387 and select option 8. Our call center is open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

If you’re a Veteran who already receives care at VA and are not currently eligible to receive a vaccine, please do NOT call VANCHCS to inquire about vaccinations. Our operators and call centers are doing their best to schedule eligible Veterans and are being overwhelmed with calls about the vaccine. We request your patience and understanding as we work our way through the high-risk priority groups first.

In the meantime, please check for COVID-19 vaccination information updates on our website. You may also stay informed or express your interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/stay-informed.


UPDATE (01/27/2021)

We understand you may have questions about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at the VA Northern California Health Care System (VANCHCS). VANCHCS received its initial Moderna COVID-19 vaccine shipment in late December and has been working non-stop to vaccinate health care providers and key operations staff to ensure uninterrupted service to our Veterans.

VA’s goal is to offer the vaccine to all eligible Veterans who choose to be vaccinated. Following CDC guidance, we are currently offering vaccines to some of our highest-risk patients, including Veterans:

  • Residing in our Center for Rehabilitation & Extended Care
  • Age 65 & older
  • On hemodialysis or chemotherapy
  • Organ transplant recipients
  • With diagnosis of ALS
  • Who are homeless.

Currently, COVID-19 vaccinations are available by appointment only. Veterans who already receive their care at VA and fall in the one of the criteria listed above are being contacted and offered an appointment to receive a vaccine.

Eligible Veterans may contact us for an appointment via one of two methods:

Option One:  COVID Vaccine Secure Message

  • Login to your My HealtheVet account: myhealth.va.govNote: you need a Premium account to access the Secure Messaging feature.
  • On your home page, select the icon labeled “Messages.” 
  • Select the Green icon labeled “Compose a Message.” 
  • From here, filter the drop-down menu and select the team titled:
  • COVID VACCINE SCHEDULING – NCHCS.
  • You can request an appointment day and time to receive your vaccination.
  • A scheduler will respond with your appointment confirmation and or other availability.

Option Two: Contact our Call Center at 1-800-382-8387 and select option 8. Our call center is open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.

If you’re a Veteran who already receives care at VA and are not currently eligible to receive a vaccine, please do NOT call VANCHCS to inquire about vaccinations. Our operators and call centers are doing their best to schedule eligible Veterans and are being overwhelmed with calls about the vaccine. We request your patience and understanding as we work our way through the high-risk priority groups first.

In the meantime, please check for COVID-19 vaccination information updates on our website. You may also sign up for updates on the COVID-19 and express your in receiving one at www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/stay-informed

%d bloggers like this: