Your Guide To Figuring Out Your Vaccine History

If you're not sure which vaccines you received as a child, you're not alone. Due to the emergence of multiple public health scares, many young adults are calling their parents or scrambling to find their vaccination records to make sure they've received all of their childhood immunizations. In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic and the current monkeypox outbreak, health officials have detected the polio virus in New York City's wastewater (via Gothamist). This comes nearly a month after the first polio case in more than a decade was reported in Rockland County.

While most adults don't need to worry about catching polio due to school immunization requirements, it's still important to know which viruses and diseases you've been vaccinated against (via The New York Times). Since it's not unusual for periodic outbreaks of preventable diseases, like measles and mumps, to pop up every once in a while, you'll want to know which vaccines you may or may not need to get.

How to find your vaccination records

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can track down your vaccination records. According to Self, a good first step would be to contact your parents or guardians to see if they still have your childhood records. If this isn't possible, however, you can contact your former schools. Since most colleges and K-12 schools require a record of your vaccinations, they should have them on file, depending on how long ago you attended the school.

You can also reach out to any hospitals, clinics, or doctor's offices you visited as a child. They will likely still have a copy of your records, although there's a chance they may have gotten rid of them if you haven't had a visit in a number of years. If this still doesn't work, you can always contact your state's health department. "Most states have a central repository for vaccine information, and your doctor's office should have access to this portal," Dr. Cory Fisher, a family medicine physician at Cleveland Clinic, told Self. You can also reach out directly.