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Your vaccination/immunization record is important. School registration, certain jobs, and travel may require that you have a current record. The record should include all the vaccines you have received in childhood and as an adult. Can’t remember when you had your last tetanus shot? CladeHealth Tracker is the perfect place to keep this information!
If you’ve misplaced or lost your record, here are some suggestions to help find the information:
- Contact your doctor. They may have complete or partial records.
- Ask your parents if they still have a copy of your childhood immunization records.
- Check your baby book or scrapbook with memorabilia.
- Check or contact your schools (or simply the school you last attended); it may have records that were required for registration. For colleges, contact the student health facility.
- Contact your childhood family doctor. If your physician has retired or a medical practice changed hands, old patient records may have been sent to a medical record storage company. It may be possible to obtain records directly from the company for a fee.
- Contact the state health department and ask if they have a copy of your records. If you have military records, check those too.
- Sometimes, it might just be impossible to find childhood immunization records. For required vaccines, it may be necessary to get revaccinated. Receiving extra doses of some of these vaccines will not harm you. For a few diseases and/or vaccines, you can have blood tests to see if you are immune. Check with your doctor, nurse, or healthcare center.
- Received a flu shot last year? This year? Don’t forget to enter this as an influenza vaccine!
Looking for your child’s immunization history? Here are some specific tips:
- Check with all your child’s previous healthcare providers. Include visits to your local public health department or clinics.
- Look through old papers. School or camp medical history forms might have this information.
- Check with any schools your child has attended for vaccines required for entrance. Hepatitis B might have been a requirement for your adolescent.
- For teens, recall if vaccines were required for college entrance or job.
- Some areas/states have centralized immunization registries that maintain electronic records of all vaccines given. Call your state immunization coordinator (www.immunize.org/coordinators/) to see if this exists in your area or any states where your child used to live. However, keep in mind that very few registries existed prior to the mid-1990s.