How to Get Your Immunization Records

the PicnicHealth Team
March 26, 2020
Blog post originally written by the AllStripes community team. AllStripes was acquired by PicnicHealth in 2023.

Immunization and vaccination is a hot-button topic these days, especially in the context of some groups that debate the value of vaccinations. Part of what makes immunization effective is the consistency and regularity of vaccinations and immunizations taken by the different members of the community to keep these illnesses at bay.

To maintain herd immunity and ensure inoculation against several deadly illnesses, a carefully monitored number of vaccinations are necessary. Therefore, it’s even more important that we, as patients, have and keep track of immunization records to verify whether we are protected against the diseases. This ranges from traditional childhood vaccinations against chicken pox, hepatitis, and measles to annual flu shots.

Children and Immunization Records

Immunization is most important among children, whose immune systems need the boost to fight off deadly infections. More than anyone else, infants and children rely heavily on herd immunity, so they don’t contract many lethal yet preventable diseases.

Most schools now require children and their parents to prepare and present medical records that prove that they have been inoculated and up-to-date on vaccines. This isn’t just to ensure the safety of the child, but also that of others.

The CDC recommends maintaining a strict immunization schedule for children and adolescents. Upon doing so, you start generating your immunization records, which are created whenever you see a healthcare professional. This is where the process begins, as good record-keeping starts with good record-taking.

Generating Immunization Records

When a child is vaccinated, they generate a record in the form of a tracking card. You can get this card from the doctor that performed the vaccination, or you can look it up in the state health department. Keeping records for children also can be found in the form of a CDC birth to 6-years-old well-visit immunization tracker. Parents can also make sure that the records are created and maintained by asking a doctor to enter that health information to the state’s immunization information system.

Locating Vaccination Records

Many people find they need their vaccination records many years after receiving the vaccination, such as when enrolling in college or graduate school. Fast forward years from childhood to adulthood, and it may be difficult to find your immunization records. Your parents might have lost the initial tracking card, or you’ve moved around and lost contact with the healthcare provider that had given you the immunization in the first place. There are several ways to track down your or your child’s immunization records, especially in the digital era, where electronic medical records (EMR) are more accessible than before:

  • You can contact previous daycare centers and schools that your child has attended, particularly if the school requires a shot record.
  • If you’ve changed healthcare providers, you may want to check with the previous one to see if they have kept a record of it.
  • Make sure you thoroughly check everywhere around your home for the vital paperwork. You might have physical copies of the shot record lumped in along with the rest of the medical paperwork.
  • Previous employers, including the military, who require an immunization record, may also still have this copy.
  • Visit or contact your state’s immunization registry. They often keep thorough records of inoculations performed throughout the state, and you can contact the registry for an official copy. Be reminded that the process may vary greatly across different states and may be time-consuming.
  • You can sign up for a personal health record service like PicnicHealth, and we’ll do the heavy lifting of tracking down your old doctors, requesting records, and putting them into an easily accessible digital file.

When You Don’t Find Your Records

Both adults and children typically need to repeat some inoculations. If you don’t know what you have gotten vaccinated for, it’s generally not harmful to receive additional vaccine doses. The process may be time-consuming, but it’s well worth it for your peace of mind against some highly preventable but deadly diseases.

Need to learn more about your medical records and how to protect them? Visit and learn about your options.


the PicnicHealth Team

About PicnicHealth

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Create a List

List the names of all the doctors, hospitals, and other facilities your loved one visits regularly, along with those they have visited in the past. Try to go back as far as you can, striving for at least the last 5-10 years, but do your best. Even if you can’t remember them all, having a strong baseline can help you quickly identify gaps in records.

Ensure You Have the Appropriate Legal Status

It is important to make sure that you are fully empowered to make decisions on behalf of your loved one with Alzheimer’s. Your relationship status with the patient may not be enough to legally give you access to your loved one's medical information. It is a good idea to talk to an expert about securing special legal status, such as Power of Attorney (POA), a legal document that allows an individual to name someone as their decision maker should they no longer be able to make decisions on their own.

Gather and Organize the Medical Records in One Place

It’s important to have all of your loved one’s medical records together in one spot. This makes it much easier for you and your loved one’s physicians to accurately map the patient’s medical journey and more easily share information between doctors. Fortunately, tools exist to make record management and access simple. A free resource like PicnicHealth helps you collect and organize all of this information. PicnicHealth’s intuitive timeline allows you to pinpoint data across the medical history, eliminating your need for keeping heavy binders filled with paper records or keeping track of multiple software portal logins.

Review the Medical Records to be an Informed Advocate

The better you understand your loved one's medical history, the better you can advocate on their behalf. Access and understanding of this information will help you to ask informed questions with physicians. Through regular communication backed by the data in the medical records, you can help your loved one’s care team develop a more successful care plan.

Learn more about PicnicHealth’s commitment to the Alzheimer’s community and the Alzheimer’s Association

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Together, we can make a difference.

Learn more about PicnicHealth’s commitment to the Alzheimer’s community and the Alzheimer’s Association

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Build a support network.

When you’re juggling appointment times and insurance claims, putting a robust support system together might not strike you as the most urgent task. Investing the time to cultivate relationships with people can turn to in times of need will pay dividends. The next time you need a last-minute ride or just someone to listen, you won’t be on your own.

There are many condition-specific support groups and support groups for caregivers generally in person or online. In addition to the encouragement and empathy they provide, support groups can be a helpful source of tips, resources, and recommendations for navigating caregiving.


Stay organized.

The backbone of effective caregiving is organization. Keep medical information, appointment schedules, and medication lists in order. Use a planner or a digital service like PicnicHealth to stay on top of your responsibilities. This attention to detail can prevent future complications and reduce day-to-day stress.


Explore treatments and clinical trials.

We’ve seen incredible breakthroughs in treatment over the past couple of years, powered by patients and their caregivers participating in research. Stay in the loop about the latest in medical advancements and available resources that could benefit your loved one. Whether it’s a new therapy option or a community service that aids independence, being informed can make a world of difference in the quality of care you provide.


Make time for self-care.

It may seem self-centered to focus on self-care—but when you feel good, you can be a better caregiver. Whether it’s exercise, a mindfulness practice, a soak in the bath, or just time to rest when you need it, carve out those moments in the day when you can unwind, reset, and stay healthy mentally and physically. Think of it as building up your reserves of kindness, patience, and understanding—which can only benefit your loved one. No one can pour from an empty cup.

Having trouble managing your loved one's medical records?

Easily manage all of your loved one's medical records and contribute to ongoing Alzheimer's research with PicnicHealth.

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LC-FAOD Odyssey: A Preliminary Analysis, presented at INFORM 2021

Data from real-world medical records:

(from 13 patients with LC-FAOD)

16 yrs old

Median age at enrollment

38% Female

15 providers / patient

7.5 years of data / patient

Data from patient-reported outcome (PRO) survey

(from 13 patients with LC-FAOD)

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However, it's important to consult with a healthcare provider or registered dietitian to determine the appropriate amount of protein for your individual needs. In general, a diet with moderate protein intake (about 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight per day) is recommended for people with kidney diseases.

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