How To Replace Your Child's Lost Immunization Record

Phil Ashley

The Immunization record. It is one of those documents you are required to have to enroll your child in school. It is also fairly small, just a single sheet of paper, making it easy to lose.  Whether you are enrolling in a new school or you just need to show your child is up to date, you need to have that record. Even if you lost your home, along with the shot record that was in it, and were able to enroll in a new school under transitional status, you will eventually need to get a copy of your child's immunization record to your child's school, or your child will not be able to attend.

 Check With The Previous Schools

Since immunization records are required for school attendance, check with your child's previous school, and work your way backward for an immunization record. Check with the school staff person who is in charge of enrollment or the school nurse. Both people are usually really in the know about how their schools store immunization records. If your child's new school does a records request to the previous school, there is a possibility that the immunization record will come with the requested documents.  

Don't Go For An Immunization Exemption

A lost record is not a reason to try for an exemption to school immunization requirements. All of the reasons that parents are able to seek exemptions to vaccination requirements demand proof of personally held belief or medical documentation. In most states it is more difficult to get an exemption than it is to get a copy of the immunization record.

Check With The Primary Care Physician

Your child's primary doctor is another good place to try. Many children get immunizations from their doctor, who records giving the immunization as part of the child's medical records. In addition, a primary care doctor will often want to know about state required immunizations that were given by others while the child was still under their care.

The primary care physician would then have a complete idea (and record) of the child's immunization history.

Local Public Health Office

This is the other place where many children receive their immunizations. Public health offices are often state experts in immunization requirements and super knowledgeable about how immunization records are handled in their state.

Your State's Immunization Registry

Each state sets their own guidelines and policies regarding which immunizations are required for children to attend school. Since these policies are set at the state level, the record keeping of which immunizations were given to each child are handled by each individual state.  Whichever state your child was living in may have a record of any immunizations given to the child in that state. You can search to see what database the state may have by using some of the following search terms: <state name>, immunization database, immunization tracker, immunization locator.

Childhood Memorabilia

Many parents or caring relatives who like to keep baby books, old school records, and other childhood memory journals will include some basic medical information. Along with the height/weight chart, they will also include information about immunizations.

Even if the original immunization record was not placed in a baby book information about where, when, and which immunizations were given to the child may be recorded there. This information can then be used to contact the office or state that would have a record of the immunizations given.

Lastly, Look Into Titer Testing

The above tips should help you to replace missing immunization records for your child. If something happens and none of the above work, talk to your child's primary care person about titer testing. Titer testing is a type of blood testing that checks for titers to different diseases, showing that your child has an immunity to that disease.

Some states will accept proof of titers in place of an immunization for a certain disease. The tests do cost money, but could save your child from having to receive a full battery of immunizations to get a new record established.  

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