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Drew: Smartphone-based tool for COVID-19 vaccine check-ins

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By Samuetta Hill Drew

We have spent several weeks exploring the different aspects of the two-federal authorized COVID-19 vaccines – Pfizer-BioTech and Moderna. Past articles have addressed the two vaccines’ scientific make-up, possible side effects, local vaccine sites, The Alabama Department of Public Health vaccine roll out schedule, its phases, and the different category of groups included. Last week we discussed the onset of a potential third vaccine by Johnson & Johnson and its possible benefits.
These articles came at a time we were transitioning from Operation Warp Speed to the current aggressive nationwide vaccine roll out plan. Most Americans continue to eagerly sign up for or wait in line for one of the two vaccines. Millions of Americans have received their second vaccine dose, but millions more still await their first vaccine dose.
In an effort to document the effects of this national vaccination effort to address the current pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases Division. This division has under its umbrella an Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). This committee is helping to record data the CDC is collecting from its V-Safe after vaccination health checker.
The CDC says that V-Safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after you receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Through V-Safe, you can quickly tell the CDC if you have any side effects after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Depending on your answers, someone from the CDC may call to check on you and get more information. V-Safe will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine dose if you need one. It CAN NOT schedule vaccine appointments, including second doses of COVID-19 vaccines. You will need to contact the location that set up your appointment or vaccine provider to make any vaccine appointments or changes.
To register for V-Safe, go to vsafe.cdc.gov, then read the onscreen instructions and click Get Started. You will then be asked to enter your name, mobile number, and other requested information. Click Register afterwards. In Step Three you will receive a text message with a verification code on your smartphone. Enter this code in the V-Safe and click Verify. Continue to follow the short steps until you are set-up on V-Safe (when you’re asked to click submit).
If you complete your registration before 2 p.m. local time, V-Safe will start your initial health check-in around 2 p.m. that day. If you register after 2 p.m., V-Safe will start your initial health check-in immediately after you register – just follow the instructions.
If you should need help with V-Safe, such as troubleshooting or want to ask questions, contact Live V-Safe support by calling 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636). This live V-Safe support is available Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. V-Safe, the after vaccination health checker, is another way of Keeping an Eye on Safety as you participate in the national vaccination roll out to combat COVID-19.