Locating immunization records

There is no central repository of vaccination records. The only records that exist are the ones you or your parents were given when the vaccines were administered and the ones in the medical record of the doctor or clinic where the vaccines were given.If you cannot locate your personal record or the record from your doctor, it may be necessary to repeat some of the vaccines or arrange blood tests to determine your immunity. If your child was born in Nolan County a person can try calling the Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department’s immunization program. Sometimes schools hold the vaccination records of children who attended, but these records are generally not kept for more than a year or two or, at the longest, until graduation. After a student graduates, records are sent to storage and may not be accessible. Look for family records such as a baby book. Please keep in mind, however, that immunization records are maintained for a limited number of years and then usually only by the medical provider who actually administered the vaccines.Many colleges provide vaccinations (often, certain vaccinations are required for enrollment). Contact your college's medical services department (student health) for further information. Also check military records.In most states, it is the responsibility of the parents of school-aged children, not family doctors, to provide vaccination records to the health department and to schools.Today we move, travel, and change health providers more than we did in previous generations. Also, doctor's offices and clinics store records of children's vaccinations and the dates they were received only for a few years. If you keep an accurate record, you will be more likely to remember when to bring your children in for the next visit. These records also can prove that your children are up to date with their immunizations. In most states, children are not allowed to enter school or childcare unless they can prove that they meet all school immunization requirements. Your doctor or clinic will be happy to give you an immunization record form for your use. Bring this record with you whenever you take your child to the doctor or clinic, and ask the doctor to sign and date the form each time a vaccination is given. That way, you can be sure that the immunization information is current and correct.Finally, make sure you know if your doctor participates in an immunization registry. However, keep in mind that very few registries existed prior to the mid-1990s. If you are in need of immunizations, the Sweetwater-Nolan County Health Department (SNCHD) has immunization clinic every Wednesday from 8:30-11:30 a.m. and 1-4:30 p.m., and on the second Wednesday of each month until 6 p.m. The cost is $6 through the Vaccine For Children Program. CHIPS and Medicaid are accepted.If you have any questions about regarding vaccine requirements or immunization records call the SNCHD at 235-5463.