Locating Old Immunization Records
There are a number of reasons why a child or an adult may need to locate a copy of their immunization record. However, many people have difficulty locating those records. There are several resources to help you locate and save old immunization records.
Table of Contents
- How to Find Your Immunization Record
- When You Find Your Immunization Record
- Save Your Immunization Record
How to Find Your Immunization Record
- The New York State Immunization Information System (NYSIIS) is an electronic registry that maintains immunization records for New York State children and adults. Although NYSIIS may not have all immunization records, it is a good place to start. Ask your health care provider to check to see if the record you are looking for is in NYSIIS.
- Citywide Immunization Registry (CIR) is an electronic registry that maintains immunization records for those vaccinated in New York City. Visit the CIR website for more information on locating records in this registry.
- If the record you are looking for is not in NYSIIS or CIR, visit the Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) website. The IAC resource Tips for Locating Old Immunization Records is full of practical information you can use to help locate immunization records.
When You Find Your Immunization Record
- If the record you looked for was not originally found in NYSIIS or CIR, ask your health care provider to enter it into the appropriate registry. This will give you an electronic immunization record that will be saved for a lifetime.
- Ask your provider to document the immunization history on an official record and make a photocopy or scan the immunization record for your files.
- Obtain a free wallet-sized immunization record card from NYSDOH and record your own immunizations. Go to our Publication Order Form and order the card that you need.
- New York State Adult Immunization Record, Publication #2376
- New York State Childhood Immunization Record, Publication #2302
Save Your Immunization Record
You will need it if you:
- Enter and continue to attend school. Immunization records are required for entry into and continued attendance in child care, kindergarten and school, college, and other post-high school education and training in New York State. It is important to save a copy of immunization records in case of a move from one school to another, a move out-of-state to attend school, or a return to school later in life. More information on the vaccines required for school entry and attendance are available at the NYSDOH website.
- Begin or change careers within the health care field. Individuals beginning a career or changing jobs in the health care field in New York State will need proof that they are immune to certain vaccine preventable diseases. Saving a copy of your immunization record will save you time and reduce the need for additional immunizations or tests. More information on vaccines for health care personnel is available at the NYSDOH website.
- Expect a baby or plan a pregnancy. Pregnant woman who are not fully vaccinated are at higher risk of serious health effects for themselves and their babies from certain vaccine preventable diseases. It is important to share a copy of your immunization record with your health care provider if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy. More information on vaccines for pregnant women is available at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.
- Travel internationally. Many vaccine preventable diseases are circulating around the globe in locations as close as Canada and in Europe. It is important to know your immunization history and receive needed immunizations before traveling internationally. If not adequately immunized, international travel can pose serious health risks to you and those around you. More information on vaccines and international travel is available at the CDC website.
- Potentially become exposed to a vaccine preventable disease. Thousands of New Yorkers are exposed to vaccine preventable diseases each year. If you learn that you have been exposed to a vaccine preventable disease, an up-to-date immunization record will assist your health care provider and local health department in determining whether you are at risk of contracting that disease. More information on vaccine preventable diseases is available at the NYSDOH website.
- Change health care providers. When you change health care providers, it is important to share your entire health history, including your immunization records, with your new provider. This will help your health care provider know which vaccine preventable diseases you are protected against. It also may reduce the need for additional immunizations or tests. Having a "medical home" offers the best care to individuals. For more information on having a medical home, visit the NYSDOH website.