How to check if you were vaccinated for certain diseases in childhood?

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Today, most medical records are easily stored online, making them impossible to misplace and easy to track down when needed. Even if your records aren’t online, you can photograph any paperwork you need (like your COVID Vaccine CardFor example) and get easy access to it through your phone.

This was not the case a few decades ago (or even a few years ago), when medical history was largely stored on paper. Now it can be hard to track down the specific health information you need, such as your childhood vaccination records. Some jobs require proof of vaccination, as do some schools – plus it’s helpful to know your vaccination history to protect yourself.

According to Doctor. Emily Wolfea pediatrician with Orlando Health Physician Associates in Florida, “BVaccine aware [and] Immunity status is important for the health of the individual as well as the health of any family member [or] Friends that they come in contact with who may be at risk of certain diseases.

If you are around a newborn, you will want to make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations. Additionally, if there is an outbreak of a certain virus, you will want to know if you are protected or get vaccinated if you are not.

All hope is not lost if your vaccination record is nowhere to be found. There are ways to track what you’re protected against.

Why it is important to know your vaccination history

According to Wolff, the anti-vaccine movement has led to recent outbreaks of diseases that used to be uncommon in the United States. So measles and . Like it’s almost normal now to hear about virus outbreaks polio,

Additionally, she notes that some vaccines are relatively new and may not have been administered to a parent or grandparent (such as the chicken pox vaccine), putting them at increased risk.

Because of all this, “it is important to know whether you are at greater risk for contracting these diseases because of a missing vaccine from childhood,” she said.

Dr. Burt E. Johansson, Vaccine Specialist National Hispanic Medical Association, said being able to share your vaccine history with a doctor is also helpful in some situations. If you go to the ER with a wound and need a tetanus shot, your treatment may be determined by your tetanus vaccination history, he said.

“If you have not been vaccinated or [have been] Got vaccinated less than three times and it’s a dirty wound, you’re going to get the vaccine and tetanus immune globulin,” he said.

So you’ll want to be able to know your vaccine history for your own safety.

If you can’t find your childhood vaccination records, you can schedule a blood test to determine which vaccines you’ve had.

To find your vaccination records, try your primary care doctor.

Your primary care provider may have access to your vaccine records. really, some states Vaccination record database that the doctor or pharmacist can consult.

Unfortunately, Johansson said, it’s not an answer for everyone. These records often last no more than 20 years, and the databases are not working in every field.

But it’s worth a try if you’re looking to track childhood vaccines.

Next, reach out to family members, your pediatrician, and past employers.

When you were a child, your parent or guardian was given a small card by your doctor with your vaccination records.

After all these years it may seem like a far cry, but Johansson recommends that you reach out to your parents, grandparents, or previous guardians to see if they still have your original cards. Huh.

If it’s not in the pile of family records, call your pediatrician (if they’re still in practice) to see if they still have your records. If your pediatrician’s office was taken over by a larger health system, there’s a chance you may have information on file, he said, so reach out to that health system as well.

Additionally, your previous employers or schools may have requested your vaccine records, and they may still have them. Or, if you are a veteran, the military may have your records on file.

But, if you call and still can’t find your vaccine history, don’t fret. It’s kind of an expectation. “The problem is that many of those places don’t hold those records for more than four to five years,” Johansson said.

If your vaccine records are nowhere to be found, you have options.

Both Wolfe and Johansson noted that blood tests are available to determine if you have had certain childhood vaccines or are protected from a previous infection.

“There are antibody tests that can determine if you have been vaccinated for many diseases,” Johansson said. He said you can be tested to see if you have been vaccinated against diseases such as tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, measles and more.

This test is called a titer test, and you should be able to establish it through your primary care doctor. If you go to a small practice that doesn’t offer this type of test, try talking to doctors at the larger health systems in your area – you may even Try a Local CVSWhich provides titer test at few locations across the country.

This is a great option for people who can’t find their records and need proof of vaccination for employment, school or just for their public health protection.

And if all else fails, you can get vaccinated again.

If you’re in a high-risk situation — such as if you’re in an area with a virus outbreak and you’re not sure you’ve been vaccinated — you can get revaccinated, Johansson said.

Additionally, reassessment may be necessary for some at-risk groups, says Dr. Scott Roberts, MD, associate medical director of infection prevention at Yale New Haven Hospital. previously told huffpost, People undergoing certain medical treatments need to be re-vaccinated after treatment, he said, to ensure they are completely protected.

Wolff insisted that you shouldTalk to your primary care doctor about “your risk for contracting diseases based on known information about your vaccine record.” From there, you’ll be able to come up with a proper plan together.

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