Immunisation records document the vaccinations that an individual has received throughout his life. You should keep immunisation records in a safe place, as you may be required to provide them to schools, colleges, employers and the military in the future, according to California's Department of Public Health website. Unfortunately, some people misplace their immunisation records; once lost, it may be difficult to obtain. Though a central registry of immunisation records does not exist, it is still possible to locate them using various methods, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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Things you need
- Old documents, medical records, school registration forms and baby books
- Blank immunisation card
Search thoroughly through your belongings; look through old documents, medical records, school registration forms or baby books, suggests the Immunization Action Coalition.
Ask your parents or whoever took care of you about your immunisation papers as it is generally considered the parents' or caretakers' responsibility to safeguard immunisation records, according to the CDC.
Call the doctor or clinic you've received vaccines from in the last few years; ask if they have your immunisation records. Keep in mind that most medical practices only retain vaccination records for a limited period of time.
Contact old schools and colleges you have attended. Upon registration or enrolment at the school, you were required to provide immunisation records.
Check with your local immunisation information system (IIS), according to the CDC. Some areas have IIS available where immunisation records are retained.
Contact your state's health department to inquire about its immunisation program if you cannot find an IIS where you live, or the IIS does not have the information you are looking for. See Resources to locate your state's department of health.
Tips and warnings
- Ask your health care provider if she participates in an immunisation registry; if not, you may want to consider finding a doctor or clinic that does.
- Create a new immunisation record or chart if you cannot find your old papers. You can ask for a new form from your doctor or you can print out the form listed under Resources.
- Talk with your health care provider about your immunisation history. She may conduct some blood work to see if you have immunity to certain diseases; this will help determine if you've had certain vaccinations already. You may have to repeat some immunisation.
- Always record the date and type of vaccine you receive on the immunisation chart and have your health care provider sign it, states the CDC. (References 3)
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