V-safe was launched in December 2020 to ensure that people can report post-vaccination side effects in real time and get help.
In December 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched V-safe, "a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after an individual receives a COVID-19 vaccination." Using the messaging program, people who have received the shots can report symptoms and other related consequences, such as missed work. Their responses could prompt phone calls from a team of safety professionals. The CDC said in a statement that the smartphone-based tool was developed to allow "people to report how they are feeling after COVID-19 vaccination to the CDC in almost real-time." The voluntary system is in addition to existing safety monitoring programs, the agency said. "Reports to v-safe indicating a medically significant health impact" are followed up by trained personnel. CDC vaccine experts may contact the person's healthcare provider to request more information, the agency said. The smartphone technology is designed to enhance several well-established vaccine safety monitoring systems like the Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). Calling V-safe outdated and antiquated is incorrect because the app was built less than a year ago and provides people with technology to report side effects easily and in real-time and get access to healthcare. This helps officials gather information on how the vaccines are performing and monitor people regularly. Grace Lee, a member of a federal advisory vaccine safety task force and a professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine, told the Washington Post that "the new smartphone technology and the existing VAERS system will be important early in the coronavirus vaccination program. V-safe will focus on patients self-reporting any symptoms, such as local and systemic reactions, after vaccination,” referring specific questions to the CDC. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a lot of potentially dangerous misinformation. For reliable advice on COVID-19, including symptoms, prevention, and available treatment, please refer to the World Health Organization or your national healthcare authority.