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CDC Plans Cellphone COVID-19 Vaccine Tracking System

Health checks will be done by text messages and email every day during the first week after vaccination

FRIDAY, Oct. 23, 2020 (HealthDay News) — When a COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will monitor those taking the vaccine for any health problems via text messages and online surveys,CNNreported Thursday.

“V-SAFE is a new smartphone-based active surveillance program for COVID-19,” Tom Shimabukuro, M.D., deputy director of the CDC Immunization Safety Office, said during a meeting of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee on Thursday.

Health checks will be done by text messages and email every day during the first week after someone is vaccinated and weekly thereafter for six weeks, according to the CDC website, CNN reported. If a problem occurs, V-SAFE will help report it to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System. The program will be a way to monitor the vaccine in real time, Amesh Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security in Baltimore, told CNN. “I don’t think there’s anything quite like this, but I think there’s been clearly a trend towards this type of program,” Adalja said. “This isn’t the exclusive way that they are going to get information. It’s an additive way.”

The CDC also has two other safety monitoring systems: The CDC National Health Care Safety Network tracks information among acute care and long-term care facilities, and a larger insurer and payer claims-based database is available through the FDA, CNN reported.

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