Getting Started in VAMS – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

If you are new to VAMS, you may have questions about how to set up and activate your account to access the VAMS portal. Below are answers to commonly asked questions about VAMS.

Note: Vaccine recipients can also access VAMS through the VAMS portal after creating an account.

About VAMS

Vaccine Administration Management System, or VAMS, is an easy-to-use, secure, online tool developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to manage COVID-19 vaccine administration from the time the vaccine arrives at a clinic until it is administered to a recipient.

States and jurisdictions across the United States are using different web-based applications for vaccination clinic management. Contact your health department to find out which vaccination management system they are using for vaccine enrollment and scheduling.

VAMS is a vaccine appointment scheduling system that your health department, employer, or provider may be using to manage vaccine appointments. 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 vaccination. V-safe will also remind you to get your second COVID-19 vaccine or booster dose if and when you need one.

Creating an account

  1. Ask your employer or organization to register you as a user if they are using the VAMS tool. Only VAMS users can create a VAMS account and use VAMS to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.
  2. Check your inbox for a registration email from vams@cdc.gov.
    • Quick tip: If this email is not in your inbox, you may need to check your junk or spam mail folders. If you still cannot find the email, contact the employer or organization that registered you.
  3. Click the registration link in the email. This will take you to the account creation page in VAMS.
    • NOTE: The registration link in your email is for your registration only and cannot be used to register anyone else. Please do not forward it to anyone as the link will not work for them.
  4. Follow the directions to create and verify your password in the system.
  5. Read the terms and conditions and check the box saying you agree.
  6. Choose your notification preferences (Email or SMS) for multi-factor authentication (MFA) and verify your identity by entering your password and a unique number you receive through your preferred contact method.
    • NOTE: After five log-in attempt failures, you will be locked out of the system for one hour.
    • You may need to work with your IT department to allow VAMS notifications from specific emails and IP addresses to ensure you receive VAMS email notifications without issue. Visit the Email Notifications from VAMS quick reference guide for more information.

The registration link does not expire.

  • Search your inbox for an email from vams@cdc.gov.
  • If the email isn’t in your inbox, check your spam folder.
  • If you still can’t find the email, contact your employer or supervisor.

Make sure you are using the link sent to you via email to start the process. If the link is not working, contact your employer or supervisor and they can send you a new registration email.

Make sure you are using the link sent to you via email to start the process. If the link is not working, contact your employer or supervisor and they can send you a new registration email.

Also make sure you are using a supported browser. VAMS works best in the Google Chrome web browser but can be accessed via any browser except Internet Explorer. VAMS also works on Android and iOS mobile devices.

  • Search your email inbox for an email from vams@cdc.gov.
  • Follow the registration link in this email to register your clinic staff account (this step creates your account).
  • If the email isn’t in your inbox, check your junk or spam mail folders
  • See the “Activate Your VAMS Account” section in your user manual for step-by-step help.

  • You must activate your account in VAMS to use the system.
  • Search your inbox for an email from vams@cdc.gov with a subject line of: “Please register to schedule an appointment.”
  • If this email is not in your inbox, check your junk or spam mail folders. If you still cannot find the email, contact your organization coordinator.
  • Click the registration link in the email. This will take you to the prescreening page.
    • NOTE: The registration link in the email you received is for your registration only—it cannot be used to register someone else. Please do not forward it to anyone because the link will not work for them.

Yes, race and ethnicity are required fields when registering in VAMS. Users may respond “unknown/not reported”.

Can vaccine recipients have non-U.S. addresses?

Yes, vaccine recipients have the option to select from a drop-down list of countries when registering their account.

I noticed my name is showing incorrectly but I can’t change it. What do I do?

Contact your employer. Your employer will send a new registration link with your correct name.

Yes, vaccine recipients have the option to select from a drop-down list of countries when registering their account.

Contact your employer. Your employer will send a new registration link with your correct name.

Accessing VAMS

Clinics, jurisdictions, and organizations can access VAMS at VAMS Non Recipient Login (cdc.gov). Vaccine recipients can access VAMS by entering their account information in the VAMS portal.

VAMS works best in the Google Chrome web browser but can be accessed via any browser except Internet Explorer. VAMS also works on Android and iOS mobile devices.

VAMS is web-based and works on computers, cell phones, and tablets. There is no VAMS smartphone app, but you can access the VAMS website from the internet browser on your cell phone or tablet. VAMS works best in the Google Chrome web browser but can be accessed via any browser except Internet Explorer.

No, VAMS does not integrate with Outlook.

VAMS allows for healthcare professionals to backdate vaccinations, allowing vaccination to continue even if VAMS is unavailable. Healthcare professionals will need to document the following information from recipients during vaccination to enter in VAMS once the system is available again.

Information requested during vaccination:

  • Vaccine information, including the manufacturer, product, and the vial’s unit of use (UoU) barcode and lot number.
  • Administration site (e.g., left deltoid).
  • Vaccination outcome: successful or unsuccessful. If unsuccessful, was it possible to re-attempt vaccination?
  • Whether wastage occurred.
    • NOTE: Log waste if it did occur.

Scheduling Appointments in VAMS

You can log into VAMS at any time to review, edit, or update your account information through the recipient portal home page.

Appointments for vaccination vary by clinic and can take up to 30 minutes.

You can schedule your appointment from the My Appointments page or from the Registration Confirmation page.

  • Click the Schedule Appointment
  • NOTE: You can only have one appointment scheduled at a time. If you have an existing appointment scheduled, you will not be able to schedule another appointment until the existing appointment is canceled or completed.

On the Clinic Location page, locate a clinic by entering your address or the ZIP code where you want to be vaccinated. You can filter results within a 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, or 100-mile radius of your address or ZIP code by clicking the drop-down arrow in the Within field.

Click Search and a list of clinics within your selected mile radius will appear.

Click the name of your preferred clinic, then click the Next button that appears below the map.

  • NOTE: You must click the clinic name link for the Next button to appear.

On the Date and Time page, select an available appointment date on the calendar to the left side of the page. Days with available appointments appear in black text while unavailable days will be in gray.

Select your appointment time by clicking a time slot, then click Next. Available time slots will appear in blue text while unavailable time slots will be in gray.

  • NOTE: Your selected appointment time slot will be held in the system for 10 minutes. If the appointment is not confirmed by that time, it will be released in the system.
  • Quick Tip: When considering an appointment, please make sure you can arrive on time. Showing up late may result in cancellation and require you to reschedule at a later date.

Review your selected appointment location, date, and time.

Click Submit to confirm your appointment or Previous to make changes.

After clicking Submit, you will see a confirmation that your appointment has been scheduled. This confirmation includes your appointment details and a QR (quick response) code.

You can present this QR code to the front desk staff for a contactless check-in when you arrive for your appointment.

  • NOTE: You will also receive an appointment confirmation via your preferred contact method. The appointment confirmation includes the same information as the appointment confirmation page.

Click the VAMS logo in the header to return to the home page or click the Cancel Appointment button if you need to change the appointment.

  • Expand your search radius to 10, 20, 50, or 100 miles. If no clinics appear within a 100-mile search radius, manually enter your city and state in the search box. If no clinics appear and you know clinics exist, the clinics in your area may not have appointments available.
  • You could also try to log out of VAMS and log in again or try again in a new browser.

  • To reschedule, you must cancel your original appointment first, then create a new appointment.
  • Find your appointment confirmation email, then click the Cancel Appointment link.You can also log into VAMS and cancel your appointment by clicking View Appointment in the My Appointments table, then clicking Cancel Appointment.
  • After cancelling your appointment, follow the same steps used to schedule your original appointment to schedule a new appointment.

  • Find your appointment confirmation email, then click the Cancel Appointment Link. You can also log into VAMS manually. On the recipient portal home page, go to the View Details column and click the View Appointment link.
  • Find your appointment.
  • Click Cancel Appointment and follow the prompts to cancel your appointment.

If you miss your scheduled appointment by more than four hours, VAMS automatically cancels your appointment. You will get a notification to schedule a new appointment via your preferred communication method (text or email). Each clinic may also have its own policy for missed appointments.

Clinic staff can scan a quick response (QR) code at check-in for a quicker check-in process. Using this code can enable contactless check-in when you arrive at the vaccination clinic.

When you create your appointment, you will have a chance to review the details on the Appointment Confirmation page as the last step in the scheduling process. This confirmation page also includes a quick response (QR) code you can use to check in on the day of your appointment.

You will also receive a confirmation notification via your preferred contact method (email or text).

Log into VAMS and click on the View Appointment link. You can also view your appointment information in your confirmation notification (email or text, depending on your preferred communication method).

After you have completed your first appointment, you will receive a notification that provides the date when you can receive the next dose of vaccine, if required, along with a link to schedule your follow-up appointment.

If the date when you can receive the next dose passes, you will receive a notification reminding you to schedule your follow-up appointment, along with a link to schedule the appointment.

Yes. However, when you receive the appointment reminder notification depends on how far in advance you schedule your appointment. If you selected an appointment time that is today, you will receive a notification within 15–20 minutes of appointment selection. If you selected an appointment time that is more than 12 hours away, you will receive a notification 12 hours before your appointment.

Role-Specific Resources

Find support resources for specific users, including user manuals, quick reference guides, and frequently-asked questions.

Role-Specific Resources
Your role Role-specific user manuals Who to contact
Vaccine recipient, enrolled in VAMS Information for General Public Users
VAMS vaccine provider or employer Organization Coordinator User Manual
  • Your VAMS jurisdiction points of contact
  • Your VAMS clinic administrator
VAMS COVID-19 vaccination clinic administrator Third-Party Clinic Administrator User Manual VAMS Help Desk via phone (found in your VAMS Portal) or by selecting “Get Help” in the top right header from any page after you have logged into VAMS.
VAMS jurisdiction point of contact Jurisdiction POC User Manual VAMS Help Desk via phone (found in your VAMS Portal) or by selecting “Get Help” in the top right header from any page after you have logged into VAMS.
Vaccine recipient, NOT enrolled in VAMS N/A Your health department
Additional VAMS Support

If you have other questions as you use VAMS, contact our VAMS Help Desk:

To ensure jurisdictions and clinics are fully supported, VAMS Help Desk support is limited to jurisdiction and clinic personnel only.

Toll-Free Number:  +1 833-748-1979

Hours of Operation: 8:00 AM – 8:00 PM EST | Monday – Friday

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Page last reviewed: February 14, 2022