Frequently Asked Questions about v-safe
How can I participate in v-safe?
Once you get a COVID-19 vaccine, you can enroll in v-safe using your smartphone. Your healthcare provider will give you an information sheet on v-safe that explains how to register and get started. V-safe is free to use — you will need a smartphone with a modern browser and access to the internet to participate. Participation is voluntary and you can opt out at any time. To opt out, simply text “STOP” when v-safe sends you a text message. You can also start v-safe again by texting “START.”
If you would like to participate in v-safe, you must sign up within 42 days of getting your first COVID-19 vaccine dose.
If I don’t have a smartphone, but was given a COVID-19 vaccine, can I still participate in v-safe?
Currently, v-safe can only be accessed with a smartphone — a mobile phone that has a touchscreen, can receive text messages, and has access to the Internet. If you cannot participate in v-safe, you can submit reports of adverse events following vaccination to VAERSexternal icon, a vaccine safety monitoring system managed by CDC and FDA. If you need additional help submitting a report, you may call the VAERS toll-free information line at 1-800-822-7967 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I can’t find v-safe in either Google Play or the Apple Store. Is it not available on those platforms?
V-safe is not an app you have to download — it’s a secure, online tool you can access with any smartphone. There is no charge to use v-safe, other than the normal carrier rates for your phone plan. Once you sign up, v-safe sends you text messages that links to short online surveys. These surveys, or health check-ins, allow you to tell CDC how you are feeling after getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Anyone with a smart phone – Apple, Android, etc. – who received a COVID-19 vaccine in the United States can participate in v-safe. Instructions on how to enroll pdf icon[700KB, 2 pages ] (including the registration website) are provided at the time of your vaccination. If you have any questions or problems enrolling in v-safe, you can call CDC-INFO at 800-232-4636 for help. Also, if you are unable or choose not to participate in v-safe, you can report adverse events following vaccination to VAERSexternal icon.
How long do v-safe check-ins last?
During the first week after you get your vaccine, v-safe will send you a text message each day to ask how you are doing. Then you will get check-in messages once a week for up to 5 weeks. The questions v-safe asks take less than 5 minutes to answer.
If you need a second dose of vaccine, v-safe will provide a new 6-week check-in process so you can share your second-dose vaccine experience as well. Finally, you’ll receive check-ins 3, 6, and 12 months after your final dose of vaccine.
Is my health information safe?
Yes. Your personal information in v-safe is protected so that it stays confidential and private. To the extent v–safe uses existing information systems managed by CDC, FDA, and other federal agencies, the systems employ strict security measures appropriate for the data’s level of sensitivity.
What is the v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry?
The v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry collects health information from people who receive COVID-19 vaccines shortly before or during pregnancy. Participation in the v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry is voluntary. This information helps CDC monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in people who are pregnant. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccination considerations for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How can I participate in the v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry?
If you report within v-safe that you were pregnant at the time of vaccination or had a positive pregnancy test after vaccination, you might receive a phone call requesting your participation in the v-safe COVID-19 Vaccine Pregnancy Registry. Registry participants will be contacted for health check-ins several times throughout their pregnancy, as well as at the end of their pregnancy and when their baby is 3 months old. All participation is voluntary, and participants may opt out at any time. Participation is important because the registry helps monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines when administered during pregnancy.
How does my participation in v-safe make a difference?
By participating in v-safe, you can tell CDC if you have any side effects after a COVID-19 vaccine. This information helps CDC monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines in near real time. If any serious health problems are reported, they can be quickly investigated by CDC’s medical experts and scientists. In addition, traditional vaccine safety systems, such as Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting Systemexternal icon (VAERS) and the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), will also be used to monitor the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. These systems are part the nation’s comprehensive approach to vaccine safety.
Can v-safe give me medical advice about a health problem I think is related to my COVID-19 vaccination?
V-safe does not provide medical advice. If you have symptoms or health problems that concern you at any time following COVID-19 vaccination, please contact your healthcare provider. In addition, if you have not been able to report your post-vaccination experience in v-safe (because of a missed or expired health check-in), you can also report adverse events after vaccination to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS)external icon.
Will v-safe give me guidance as to whether I should go to work based on my symptoms after I receive a COVID-19 vaccine?
V-safe does not provide medical advice. The purpose of v-safe is to collect information about a vaccine recipient’s health following vaccination. If you are experiencing symptoms that are causing you concern, please contact your healthcare provider.