How do I locate my immunization records?

Updated April 17, 2017

Immunisation and vaccination records are the official copies that verify if a child has had certain required shots to protect them from diseases. The required immunisation shots include vaccinations for: mumps, measles, rubella, polio, tetanus, diphtheria toxoids, pertussis, influenza type B and hepatitis B. These records will need to be presented to schools when enrolling a child, some jobs and specific travel abroad. There are several places where old records can be located.

Doctor's office

Children who used one doctor for all of their immunisation should be able to contact that doctor and obtain a copy. Also, if a child moved and switched doctors, the last health provider used should have a copy of all the records, as they were the ones to obtain a complete history before administrating any other shots. Doctors typically keep all old patient's files, and with providers increasingly moving to the digital age, the space limitations are no longer an issue and doctors will usually keep patients files indefinitely.

Schools and the military

Anytime a person enrolled in a new preschool, elementary, middle or high school, college or military institution, an immunisation record was provided to that institution. While schools only keep a students information on file for two to three years after they graduate, contact the clerk or registrar's office to see if there's a possibility that the records are filed away somewhere or if they had ever been scanned onto a computer.

Additional places

While not a requirement, some city, county or state health programs keep detailed immunisation records for all citizens. Finding this information through a government agency can be more difficult, but it can be attempted by contacting the appropriate health department.

Also, the Center for Disease Control recommends checking in old baby or scrapbooks, where parents are prone to keep these type of records. Check through your old filing cabinet files. Finally check with any previous summer or sleep-away camps attended, as they typically require copies of immunisation records as well.

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About the Author

Dmitry Rashnitsov is a writer based out of Fort Lauderdale. His work has appeared in the "Sun-Sentinel" newspaper, "South Florida Blade" newspaper, "Cape Coral Daily Breeze," "411 Magazine," "South Florida CEO Magazine" and the web platform. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Arizona.