Many people are not aware of the vaccines they have received in their lifetime, and/or of the vaccines that are recommended. Vaccines are the best protection available against a number of serious diseases. The following tips are ways to update and upkeep your immunization records:
- Locate Your Vaccination Records
Take some time to look for your vaccination records. Ask your parents or caregivers, look through old childhood documents, and check with employers or healthcare providers for vaccination records. Registries also exist that keep track of adult immunizations.
- Don’t Despair If You Can’t Find Your Records
If you are unable to locate your immunization records, contact your healthcare provider. He or she may be able to take a blood test to determine whether you are immune to certain vaccine-preventable diseases. In other cases, you may need to be vaccinated again.
- Keep Track of Your Immunizations
Find a way to keep track of all your immunizations that works best for you. Various organiza-tions, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provide forms that you can download and use to keep track of your immunizations.
- Bring Your Records to Each Visit
Don’t forget to bring all your records with you to each healthcare provider visit, and update it with any new immunizations you receive. You should also give a copy to your primary care provider, and other healthcare professionals who are part of your care team.
- Update the Immunization Records of Your Family
Once you update and start keeping track of your own immunization records, consider doing the same for your family members, including children, spouses, and parents.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Vaccine information for adults. www.cdc.gov/vaccines/adults/vaccination-records.html. Updated January 25, 2013. Accessed November 18, 2015.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Tips for finding vaccine records. www.vaccineinformation.org/finding-vaccine-records/. Last reviewed May 27, 2015. Accessed November 18, 2015.