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NC Department of Health and Human Services
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North Carolina Immunization Branch

Tips for Locating an Immunization Record

Finding old immunization records can be difficult. For adults it is often impossible. To avoid having to hunt for old records and possibly repeat vaccinations that cannot be documented, be sure all immunization providers give you a written record of the vaccine(s) provided. Remember to bring your child's or your immunization record card to all medical appointments (you might want to keep an infant's record in his or her diaper bag, protected by a vinyl sleeve or zip-lock bag). If you maintain an up-to-date copy of your record, you'll be ready to document your immunization history whenever necessary!

Immunization Records for Children

  • Check with your child's health care provider.  Since 2005, an increasing number of immunization records for children in North Carolina have been logged on the North Carolina Immunization Registry (NCIR), a secure electronic database physicians and health department across the state may access.  If you're searching for a record for a child born in 2005 or later, it may be stored in the NCIR and accessible to your child's current health care provider.
  • Contact your child's previous health care providers. Don't forget visits to your local health department external link or neighborhood clinic.
  • Look through your old papers--sometimes immunization records are tucked away in a baby book, or included on school or camp medical history forms.
  • Check with any schools or child care program your child has attended to see if they have retained a record of immunizations required for school entrance.
  • Teens and adults, don't forget about any vaccines that might have been required for college entrance or a job.
  • Sometimes when physicians retire or a medical practice changes hands, old patient records are sent to a medical record storage company. It may be possible to obtain records from the company for a fee.
  • For additional tips on how to locate an immunization record, please visit this website: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/immuniz-records.htm. external link

It is important to save any information you discover in writing, including the vaccine name (e.g., "MMR"), date given, and provider or clinic name. Any local health department or your immunization provider can provide you with a lifetime immunization record card.

Immunization Records for Adults

  • Keep your immunization record in a safe place. You may need it throughout your life.
  • Ask your parent, guardian or medical provider if he/she has any record of your childhood immunizations.
  • Look through any old papers saved from your childhood, such as a baby book.
  • Ask your high school, post-secondary school, college health service, or previous employers (including the military) for dates of any immunizations, if applicable.
  • Understand that it is often not possible to find childhood immunization records of an adult. When you can't document having received a required vaccine in the past, you may have to be re-vaccinated. Receiving extra doses of these vaccines will not harm you. For a few diseases and/or vaccines, you can have blood tests to see if you are immune.
  • Sometimes when physicians retire or a medical practice changes hands, old patient records are sent to a medical record storage company. It may be possible to obtain records from the company for a fee.
  • For tips in finding immunization records from other states, please visit this website:www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/iis/contacts-state-iis.htm. external link
  • For additional tips on how to locate an immunization record, please visit this website: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/recs/immuniz-records.htm. external link
  • Document any information you discover in writing, including the vaccine name, date given, and provider or clinic name. You can download an adult immunization record card. (PDF, 81KB)

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