Where Can I Find My Vaccination Record?
The Houston health community was caught by surprise as hurricane Harvey churned over the Texas coast.
This unexpected ‘storm of the century’ is creating several health emergencies, such as when patients need to refill a prescription, or get a vaccination for school, but can’t reach their doctor or pharmacists.
To relieve this health issue, Texas Governor Greg Abbott has declared a state of disaster.
This action enables pharmacists to use their professional judgment in refilling a prescription drug to mitigate interruptions of therapeutic care, or prevent patient suffering.
Unfortunately, if a person needs their vaccination record for school, business, travel or health reasons, there is not an easy solution.
Most vaccination records exist at the doctor or pharmacy where the vaccines were given.
If you can’t find your personal vaccination records, you may need to get vaccinated again. This is not ideal, and may be expensive, and may create over-vaccination issues.
The good news is there are four technology solutions addressing the ‘where is my vaccination record’ issue.
In Houston, RxOpen helps patients find open pharmacies in areas impacted by disaster. Additionally, those impacted by hurricane Harvey can visit the City of Houston Emergency Information page or call 3-1-1 or 713-884-3131 for Houston emergency updates.
Throughout Texas, the ImmTrac2 Immunization Registry safely consolidates and stores immunization information from multiple sources electronically in one centralized system. ImmTrac2 is a no-cost service offered to all Texans by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). ImmTrac2 contains over 120 million immunization records and continues to rapidly grow with increased participation. The immunization information contained within ImmTrac2 is securely provided by a variety of authorized sources.
On a national scale, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched the Immunization Information Systems (IIS), which are confidential, population-based, computerized databases that record all immunization doses administered by participating providers. The vision for the ISS is to provide "real time, consolidated immunization data available for authorized clinical, administrative, and public health users, and consumers, anytime and anywhere."
In July 2017, the CDC and FDA released version 2.0 of the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), which is a national reporting system for vaccine adverse events. This enhanced system was authorized by the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. Previous estimates show that approximately 30,000 reports are received annually. Vaccine adverse events can be submitted by health professionals, manufacturers, and patients at this website.
But, if you need an immediate copy of your vaccination record, there are several places you can look, such as:
- Ask parents or other caregivers if they have records of your childhood immunizations.
- Check with your high school and/or college health services for dates of any immunizations.
- Check with previous employers (including the military) that may have required immunizations.
The CDC suggests you ask the doctor, nurse or pharmacist to record each vaccine given, on your immunization record and store it in a safe place.