Ask Dr. Marla: Vaccination Records

By Dr. Marla Shapiro on March 23, 2010

Question:

I changed doctors recently and I've lost the vaccination record for my 10-year-old daughter. Our old doctor passed away and I've lost track of who took over his office. What can I do?

Answer:

Newer vaccines that are presently being offered but likely were not given to your daughter include the conjugate pneumococcal vaccine and meningococcal vaccine. In Ontario, the meningococcal vaccine as well as hepatitis B are offered in school at ages 12 to 13. She also will be offered the HPV vaccine at that time.

You can access which vaccines are covered in your province by visiting phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/is-vc-eng.php

Vaccines administered to an individual should be recorded in three locations:
1. In the personal immunization record held by the person or his or her parent/guardian;
2. In the record maintained by the health care provider who gave the immunization; and
3. In the local or provincial registry.

It is likely that when your daughter entered school you provided the school with an immunization record. By contacting them or your local public health department you should be able to get a list of the vaccinations she had at the time of school entry. If there is truly no record available for any of her vaccinations, it is recommended that she be started on a routine vaccination schedule for children not vaccinated in early childhood. You could have a blood test done on your child to check for immunity to chicken pox, measles, mumps and rubella. Otherwise, the MMR, polio and Hib vaccines can be given without concern. There is some concern about so called ‘hyperimmunization’ and increased side effects with diphtheria and tetanus toxoids if there has been a recent vaccination. Discuss this with your current health care provider as to what is the best strategy for your daughter.


By Dr. Marla Shapiro| March 23, 2010

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