LEXINGTON, Ky. — A new online tool to record COVID-19 vaccine side effects is gaining more attention. It's called V-Safe Health Checker, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging people to sign up to help improve vaccination safety.

What You Need To Know

  • The CDC is gathering data on post-COVID-19 vaccine symptoms

  • V-Safe Health Checker is an online and smartphone tool where users can enter their symptoms

  • Experts encourage those vaccinated to report any symptoms or side effects of a shot

With more Americans getting the vaccine, the CDC is stepping in to help continue with the research.

“This is basically how we're capturing how people tolerate the vaccine, you know,” said Dr. Antoinette Pragalos with CTI Clinical Trial and Consulting Services.

She’s the principal investigator for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

“We can go based on the research studies but the more people that get the vaccine, the more data that we can gather to warn, I don’t want say warn, but inform people about what may occur once they get their vaccine,” Pragalos said.

She is encouraging more vaccinated people to report their post-dose symptoms.

“We actually encourage people, not necessarily to over report but definitely report even minimal symptoms, right,” Pragalos said.

V-Safe is an after-vaccination health checker created by the CDC. The word is spreading but slowly. 

“I think a lot of people don't realize that this exists,” Pragalos said.

V-Safe is a smartphone-based tool that uses text messaging and web surveys to provide personalized health check-ins after a COVID-19 vaccine. 

The CDC said through V-Safe, you can quickly tell the agency if you have any side effects after getting the vaccine. 

Richmond, Ky. resident Ashley Kimmet recently received her vaccine.

“[With] a brand new vaccine, you don't know. You know what the long term effects could be but I was very much on board with it, you know, having COVID myself and being in the hospital,” Kimmet said.

Following her dose, she started experiencing some mild symptoms.

“The first day by the end of the day I had headaches, just kind of fell out of sorts. By day two still feeling out of sorts with a headache, a little bit of nausea and fatigue. By day three, I was fine. It was relatively easier, a lot easier than I thought it was going to be,” Kimmet said.

The side effects eventually tapered off for Kimmet.

The CDC reported that depending on answers to the web surveys, a CDC agent could call to get more information. Anyone interested can register here.