Fortunately, there were few side effects.
— Jason Hull, CFP® (@hull_j) January 21, 2021
In the documentation I received upon getting my injection, there was a sheet on the V-Safe After Vaccination Health Checker. Being the tech-oriented person I am, I duly registered on the site.
My experience with this tool has been awful – mostly in line with what I would expect with government-led tech efforts, and far worse than our convoluted experience in signing up for the ACA healthcare program.
V-Safe uses two-factor authentication (2FA) to ensure that I am who I say I am. This works very well with many other users of 2FA, but not with the government.
When you use 2FA, you provide your log in information, and then some other form of authentication. Google has an authenticator program. The Department of Veterans Affairs makes me pick a pre-selected picture from a panel of dozens of pictures.
However, most providers of 2FA will text you a code, which you must then enter to authenticate yourself.
This is what V-Safe uses.
Or, at least, this is what V-Safe tries to use.
I would go to the V-Safe website on my phone, and get to a screen where I was asked to input the verification code.
Oftentimes, the code would come hours later, and then multiple times, and rarely was that code still valid.
In theory, I am supposed to receive a daily survey starting on the day of my injection to track any reactions.
The first day came and went with no survey.
The second day came and almost went with no survey.
At 11:22 PM, long after I had gone to bed (#oldpersonindahouse), I received a text from V-Safe asking for me to check in.
By the way, if you receive a text from (844) 351-1104, that is the V-Safe number that the U.S. government uses. It is not a spam text or spam call.
I happened to wake up at about 3:30 AM and saw the text, so I clicked on the link.
Even if the text had been sent at, say, 1 PM, I was busy looking at properties to purchase in Johnson County, Texas, and would not have clicked on the link to take the survey until hours later.
So, a tech-savvy user can’t interact with V-Safe.
I can only imagine difficulties that the typical Phase 1 COVID-19 vaccine recipient would face in trying to keep the vaccine reaction tracker updated.
I’m no doctor, so I cannot give advice here, but I can certainly say that if you have any reactions to your COVID-19 vaccine, do not count on the V-Safe tracking system to be of any use to you.