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Here’s How You Can Help The CDC Track COVID-19 Vaccine Safety In Real Time

(Photo by Chava Sánchez. V-Safe logo courtesy of CDC)
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As the battle to defeat COVID-19 with vaccinations rolls on, one key part of the fight is tracking the immunizations’ safety -- and that’s where all of us can play a role. Once you get vaccinated, you can sign up for v-safe, an online tool you use to let the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention know how you’re doing.

It’s not an app -- and you need a smartphone to sign up and start using it. Here's how to register.

Since we’re still in the era of having only two-shot vaccines, here’s how it works:

After you get your first shot, v-safe will send you a text each day for a week asking whether you’re experiencing any side effects. The CDC says it takes less than five minutes to answer the questions in the survey. Then v-safe will check in once a week for up to five weeks.

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Depending on your answers, someone from CDC may call to check on you.

After your second shot, v-safe will create another check-in process that will last six weeks. Then you’ll receive check-ins three, six, and 12 months after your final dose.

Getting a lot of people to participate in this process is important, because the more data the CDC collects, the clearer picture it can develop of a vaccine’s safety.

Have more questions? Here’s a CDC FAQ.

People experiencing side effects from a vaccination who don’t have a smartphone can submit a report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is managed by the CDC and the FDA. If you need additional help submitting a report, you can call the VAERS toll-free information line at 1-800-822-7967 or send an email to

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