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Vaccine Schedule Related Issues

Immunization record, what if I don't have one?

I recently moved to the U.S., and my son is now starting school. I have been asked to show an immunization record, but I do not have one. How can I get one? 

First, you should contact your previous healthcare providers to be sure they do not have a copy that they can send to you. If you are still unable to locate a record, your doctor may consider your son to have had no immunizations and begin the appropriate immunization schedule.

Even if your son had some vaccines previously, the additional doses will not hurt him. Alternatively, the doctor may give your son a blood test to see if he is immune to certain diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, tetanus, diphtheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and polio. This may reduce the number of vaccines your son needs to get, but he may still require other vaccines depending upon his age and other factors.

Summer and vaccines: What you should know

With the end of school and the start of summer, we want to relax and vaccines tend to be the furthest thing from our minds. However, during the summer we are at increased risk of coming into contact with certain infections both because we tend to travel more and because we tend to be outside where we are more likely to suffer from bug or animal bites, and be exposed to organisms in the soil.

Which pathogens are spread by animal or insect bites or found in soil?

Some diseases are spread by the bites of bugs, particularly mosquitoes. Most of these are not common in the U.S., but are in other places.

What should I consider before traveling?

Travelers to other countries should consult a travel clinic at least four to six weeks prior to leaving for their trip. The professionals in these clinics can help determine whether vaccines or medications are needed based on travel destination, time of year, and activities during the trip.

Learn more about travel clinics near you»

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has a travel website that is a great source of information.

In addition to being up to date on recommended vaccines for this country, there are some other diseases that can be encountered on trips to other countries:

In the same way that people plan ahead regarding where to stay, best methods of transportation and which activities to do and sights to see, they should also plan ahead for health-related considerations.

What do I need to consider before my child goes to sleep-away camp?

Make sure your child:

Updated: February 2013

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