TRICARE beneficiaries can make a COVID-19 vaccination appointment at a military hospital, clinic, or vaccination site. The availability of the vaccine may vary by location. Beneficiaries can also get vaccinated at any participating local pharmacy, at their civilian provider’s office, or at a vaccination site through their local or state health department.
Federal, state and local governments and public health officials manage the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), COVID-19 vaccines will be made available in three phases. You can contact your local health department for more information on COVID-19 vaccination in your area. Learn more about the TRICARE COVID-19 vaccine program.
Yes. At this time, TRICARE beneficiaries can get oral antivirals at any local pharmacy where they are available, even if the pharmacy is not a part of the TRICARE pharmacy network.
It is likely several vaccine candidates with be submitted for approval utilizing the FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) application. This pathway was originally created after 9/11 to make sure that lifesaving therapies could be available earlier for vulnerable patients.
The CDC recommends the COVID-19 vaccine for all people ages 6 months and older, and boosters for everyone 5 years and older, if eligible.
COVID-19 vaccines are covered through the TRICARE pharmacy benefit. At this time, there is no cost to TRICARE beneficiaries getting a COVID-19 vaccine.
You can fill your prescriptions for oral antivirals at local retail pharmacies or military pharmacies. Make sure to call your pharmacy to make sure oral antivirals are available at that location.
There are three main platforms that vaccine manufacturers are using to develop COVID-19 vaccines. A central theme is that all vaccine candidates are focusing on developing immunity to the “S protein,” a component of the COVID-19 virus that is critical to allow itself to attach to receptors within our body and infect our cells. By developing vaccines that promote an immune response in our body against this specific protein, the available clinical trial data has shown encouraging results in preventing significant disease and/or transmission. Another difference between the candidates is differing storage requirements which could vary from simple refrigeration to deep freezing.
Yes. Oral antivirals are covered at no cost to eligible TRICARE beneficiaries when prescribed by a TRICARE-authorized provider.
Immunizations, more commonly referred to as vaccines, help protect you, your family and friends, and the community from contracting and spreading vaccine-preventable diseases like seasonal flu, whooping cough, measles, shingles, pneumonia, and COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccinations not only protect us from seasonal illnesses like the flu, but they protect us in the future. Vaccinations are one of the best ways to put an end to serious side effects from certain diseases. Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us take control of this pandemic.
Find out more about the importance of vaccines at www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/vaxwithme.html.
You’ll have to pay the applicable TRICARE cost-share for any FDA-approved at-home COVID-19 test. To be covered, it must be ordered by a TRICARE-authorized provider for a medically necessary purpose, such as exhibition of symptoms. The federal government is no longer offering free at-home tests as of May 11, 2023.
To learn more, visit www.covidtests.gov.
All three vaccines authorized for emergency use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have been thoroughly tested and found to be safe and effective in preventing COVID-19. They continue to undergo intense safety monitoring. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccine safety.
Yes. At this time, TRICARE beneficiaries can get vaccinated at any local pharmacy offering the vaccine, even if the pharmacy is not a part of the TRICARE pharmacy network.
If you have already received your first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, you can register for the Center of Disease Control (CDC) v-safeSM After Vaccination Health Checker. Using your smartphone, you can easily report side effects and even get reminders if you need a second vaccine dose. Remember, getting the vaccine doesn’t replace taking the necessary precautions such as wearing a mask, hand washing, and social distancing. For a full list of COVID-19 safety requirements, visit the CDC's vaccine information page.
TRICARE beneficiaries can get the COVID-19 vaccine at any retail pharmacy that is offering the vaccine, even if the pharmacy is not a part of the TRICARE pharmacy network. This only applies to the COVID-19 vaccine. Other vaccines are not covered at out-of-network pharmacies.
Make sure to bring your military ID, which includes your health insurance information when you get the COVID-19 vaccine.
At this time, the answer is unclear. Viruses tend to mutate over time, and we do not yet completely understand how long vaccinations may provide protection from COVID-19 infection. This is a matter that will continue to be studied by the medical and scientific community.
Follow these steps to get vaccinated at your local pharmacy.
- Before your visit: Contact your local pharmacy to make sure the vaccine is available and to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
- What to bring: Military ID, which includes your health insurance information.
COVID-19 tests are not covered under your TRICARE pharmacy benefit. However, TRICARE does cover COVID-19 tests at no cost through your medical insurance plan, when ordered by a TRICARE-authorized provider. The test must be FDA-approved (including emergency use authorization).
Full coverage details are available at www.tricare.mil/covid19testing
If you can’t find the answer to your question, please contact us.