How to find your immunization history and store it safely

If you want to update an incomplete IIS record, you can request immunization records from previous health care providers, local health departments (city or region), or your state health department. The CDC suggests checking with parents or caregivers (including reviewing stored files and baby books), schools or previous employers (including the military), doctors’ offices or health clinics, and state health departments for immunization records. Additional tips for locating old immunization records can be found here. Once you find additional records, you can ask your medical provider to update your records in your state’s IIS system.

Remember, IIS functionality varies by state: The advantage of IIS systems is that they host official records that users can access, and vaccination data is automatically updated as long as the user remains in the state and does not opt ​​out. However, systems in some states provide limited access to immunization records, and most do not contain immunizations administered prior to system launch. While IIS systems are subject to CDC privacy standards, users should review the system and their state’s standards to decide if the benefits of accessing official immunization data are worth individual privacy concerns.

My home state of Maryland allows users to log in and request access to their data, but my current state of Texas requires users to mail, fax or email an official data request and then wait for a printout of their record of vaccination. In my case, that took a month.

While the Texas registry securely consolidates and stores immunization records from multiple sources (health care providers, pharmacies, public health clinics, Medicaid claims administrators, state health services, etc.) in one centralized system , was designed to be directly accessed only by doctors, schools, child care centers, public health care providers and other authorized health care organizations, and even then only by patients who have opted in. . Texas immunization records are not available for viewing online by the general public, including parents or legal entities. gatekeepers However, many IIS systems and state pharmacies offer access to your personal immunization history both online and through mobile apps.

Start from the beginning: What should you do if, like me, you can’t locate your childhood immunization records? According to the CDC, repeated vaccinations are not ideal, but may be appropriate in some cases. In some cases, blood tests may be done to determine your immunity to specific diseases and which vaccines you should receive as an adult, so discuss your options with your doctor.

How to store your records in the future

If you want to store and update your official immunization record, the most logical option is to use your state’s IIS system. If that system doesn’t meet your needs, there are other options as well. Says Salley, “It really comes down to who is responsible for maintaining medical records, the individual or the government? It’s simple for the individual to keep track of vaccinations and beneficial for them to do so.”

There are a number of mobile apps (SMART Health Card, Express Scripts, and Docket Immunization Records, for example) that store official immunization data. Plus, you can always keep your own list of vaccination dates and locations in the notes section of your phone or in your contacts. Please note, however, that while user-stored records of vaccination dates and providers are useful for reference, they are not official records. In addition to being verifiable, official vaccine documentation includes the date of administration, the manufacturer, the vaccine lot number, the name and title of the administrator, and the address of the facility.

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