Once a Covid-19 vaccine becomes available, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to monitor vaccine recipients for any health problems through text messages and online surveys, as part of a new program called V-SAFE.
"V-SAFE is a new cell phone-based active surveillance program for Covid-19," Dr. Tom Shimabukuro, deputy director of the CDC's Immunization Safety Office, said during a US Food and Drug Administration open meeting on Thursday.
Through V-SAFE, which stands for "vaccine safety assessment for essential workers," health checks can be conducted via text messages and email. This would happen daily in the first week after a person receives the vaccine, and then weekly thereafter for six weeks, according to the CDC's website.
If a vaccine recipient reports any adverse events, the program will help submit a report to the US Department of Health and Human Services' Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System or VAERS.
"It includes active telephone follow-up," Shimabukuro said. It’s a more active way to monitor for adverse events, instead of merely waiting for patients to report them.
Thursday's open meeting was held to discuss the development, authorization and licensure of Covid-19 vaccines in the United States.