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Keeping Track of Children’s Immunization Records

When my children were born I received a special booklet from the Department of Health labeled “Lifetime Immunization Record” and I bring them along to every well visit for each of my five children.  The booklet serves as a valuable record of all the immunizations they have received.  There is a place to mark the specific vaccine, the date it was given, as well as the name of the doctor or local health department stamp.  And I can’t tell you how helpful it has been.

I recall one instance where our family doctor had reviewed my daughter’s medical file and explained that she was behind on a particular immunization. Since I’ve always kept close track of immunizations I questioned the doctor.  After showing them my records, they double checked their files and it became evident that the doctor’s office had previously administered the shot as I had thought.  While I don’t believe an extra immunization would have done her any harm, my daughter was certainly relieved not to have to experience another shot in the arm that wasn’t really necessary.

As a military family that moves every few years, I realize how important it is for parents to keep accurate records of our children’s immunizations.    Each time we move we have multiple schools to enroll in, different doctors to see and lots of instances where we are required to show documentation of immunizations.  No doubt, my immunization booklets have come in handy for me, but I’ve often wondered what I would have to do if I lost them.  How difficult would it be to gather up all the appropriate documentation from the various medical providers we have seen in different states over the course of the past 16 years since my oldest child was born?

That’s why I was excited to hear about a great new resource called MyVaxIndiana, that was recently introduced by the Indiana State Department of Health.  Every time a parent logs into this new website with their personal identification number, the system provides information about the shots their child has had, as well as the shots that their child still lacks based on the current CDC immunization recommendations.  Parents will even have the option to print their child’s immunization records to share with others.  Not only will this system help avoid duplication immunizations, but it will help parents become partners with their doctor’s by seeing what immunizations their child may still need.  This allows time for them to discuss upcoming immunizations with their doctor and ensure that all the recommended immunizations are received according to schedule.

A recent article in the Indianapolis Star explained that the site was created with federal stimulus money, at a cost of about $100,000 to $150,000.  The article pointed out that “The system could have come in handy two years ago when new state laws regarding immunizations went into effect, catching hundreds of parents off-guard. More than 1,000 children missed school as their families struggled to get them missed shots — or find proof that they had already had them.”

While I don’t live in Indiana, I will certainly be passing this information on to those people I know who do.  And it will be interesting to see if, and when, other states will follow their lead.

How do you keep track of your child’s immunization records?  Feel free to share any suggestions you may have so that we can each benefit from one another’s experiences.   

  1. July 27, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    What are the advantages of vaccine to childrens at birth..

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  2. lilady
    July 27, 2012 at 6:16 pm

    @ Yusuf Gurkumo:

    There is only one vaccine that is given at birth…the hepatitis B vaccine. The vaccine along with hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) should be given withing 12 hours of birth. This protocol protects infants whose mothers have been identified as being chronic carriers of the hepatitis B virus from become infected during the birthing process (Vertical Transmission).

    It is “recommended”: that all other infants receive the first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine, prior to leaving the birthing hospital to prevent transmission of the virus through contact with close household contacts and other caregivers or other contacts outside the home, who are chronic carriers of the hepatitis B virus (Horizontal Transmission).

    Here are the recommendations from the CDC about preventing Vertical Transmission and Horizontal Transmission of the hepatitis B virus to vulnerable infants and children:

    http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5416a1.htm

    If you have any questions about the implementation of the “birth dose” to prevent Vertical and Horizontal transmission of the virus, please post them here.

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  3. July 27, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Are times inavaliability vaccine discourage some parent to complet the’re child immunization

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  4. Michelle
    August 1, 2012 at 10:42 am

    This is just another way for big brother to keep track of those who don’t want to inject toxins into their children.

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  5. charolite
    October 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    how long does indiana keep immunization medical records

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  6. lilady
    October 20, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    charolite…perhaps this link to Indiana’s vaccine central registry will help:

    https://myvaxindiana.in.gov/

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