Your vaccination history is an important part of your medical history. Your doctor should have a record of your vaccine schedule, but if not, there are other places to look.
- Step 1: Look at your military records if you served. A form requesting health information from the Veteran's Administration is available online.
- Step 2: Check with your state or county to see if they maintain an immunization registry. Although requirements vary, some states such as California now offer a statewide registry that's being used by a growing number of doctors.
- FACT: In the late 1700s, British doctor Edward Jennings used cowpox matter to inoculate against deadly smallpox. Most of Europe used his vaccination technique by 1800.
- Step 3: Call your old high school or college to see if they have a copy. Keep in mind that schools often keep immunization records only for a year or two after graduation. Also try checking with your old elementary school -- they may at least have a partial record.
- TIP: If you can't obtain your immunization records, you may have to get certain doses of vaccinations again. Check with your current health care provider for a shot schedule.
- TIP: Look through your baby scrapbooks. There may be a full or partial record tucked into the pages.
- Step 4: Contact your childhood pediatrician to see whether they have a full or partial record. If your doctor has since retired, their former office may still be able to tell you where the old records are stored.
- Step 5: Check with your physician to see if their office has a record of your vaccinations. With written approval, they may be able to fax it to you or your potential employer.