Immunization records

Posted
by Hfro (New) New

Hi, I'm in the process of gathering requirements to qualify for the Practical Nursing program in Ontario. I'm considering Seneca at the moment since I live in North York and they offer Part Time studies.

Just a quick question about Immunization records. How do I obtain that? My mom said she doesn't have a copy. I had it done in India when I was little and I'm not sure if the local clinics keep records.

kp1987

400 Posts

Usually public health offices have them, if not you can get blood work done to see if you are immune to the specific immunization required.

Jory, MSN, APRN, CNM

Has 10 years experience. 1,482 Posts

The hospital I was born in was shut down and they told me it would be 4-6 months to retrieve my records from archive.

I had my immunizations repeated. You don't need ALL of them, just the ones that are required. They'll give you a list.

Your insurance in Canada is different. Titers to determine immunity was not covered by my insurance, but the vaccinations were free.

The only vaccine that I did not repeat was the varicella. I paid for the titer and it was cheap. I did some research and there was a risk to taking that one again. The others were relatively safe.

The MMR should be repeated anyway if you haven't had it since you were a baby.

Now I have updated records and life is much easier when I have to produce them.

kp1987

400 Posts

The hospital I was born in was shut down and they told me it would be 4-6 months to retrieve my records from archive.

I had my immunizations repeated. You don't need ALL of them, just the ones that are required. They'll give you a list.

Your insurance in Canada is different. Titers to determine immunity was not covered by my insurance, but the vaccinations were free.

The only vaccine that I did not repeat was the varicella. I paid for the titer and it was cheap. I did some research and there was a risk to taking that one again. The others were relatively safe.

The MMR should be repeated anyway if you haven't had it since you were a baby.

Now I have updated records and life is much easier when I have to produce them.

In what province did you have to pay to get a titer done? Did you tell them it was for a job in health care? Also, in my location you get two doses of varicella If you never had the chicken pox so it's not necessarily unsafe.

missnurse89

107 Posts

I deal with this often as a PHN. You can contact your local county health department for shot records. If they don't have them, then contact your pediatrician. Yes. You can get titers drawn, however, it is generally cheaper to revaccinate if you can't prove immunity. Depends on which route you wanna go if you can't prove immunity.

Statistically, (per CDC) the risks/side effects of revaccination are low, especially if you have never had a reaction to that vaccine before. You should check out the VIS (vaccine information statement) on CDC for those numbers. If you have had a reaction before, than that is a different story. If not, there is, of course always the potential for the risks and side effects but unlikely if you did well before. This information can be found on CDC or immunize.org. As always, discuss it with your healthcare provider and they should be able to determine if you are a good candidate for those vaccines. Determination of receiving a vaccine is evaluating the risks vs benefits. I would suggest calling a nurse at the local health department to talk about this as PHNs are required to have extensive training on vaccines and communicable diseases.

Edited by missnurse89

missnurse89

107 Posts

Per CDC, MMR vaccination is recommended if you were born after 1956 and are not fully vaccinated against MMR. If you were born before 1956, you are considered immune. You only need a "booster" if you never completed your MMR series.

Edited by missnurse89

xibb

76 Posts

I didn't have to pay a single penny to get titres taken for MMRV and Hep B in Ontario, and that was last summer... I noticed most of the replies here are from Americans.

My school actually required all students to have titres taken even if we had proof of each vaccination. Quite a few of my classmates were surprised to see their immunity either wore off or was never acquired, despite previous vaccination.

Check with your school, because it might not be worth the trouble of getting your records if you're going to end up having to take titres anyway. If your titers show you're immune, you won't need to be revaccinated. Also, at my school, even if you got revaccinated, you still had to have titers done again 1 month after, to show the vaccine was effective. So definitely check with your school.

Edited by xibb

Fiona59

Has 18 years experience. 8,343 Posts

OP:

If you went through grade and high school here in Canada your records will be in the public health system. Give your local office a call and they will put you on the right track.

How long have you been out of school? Boosters are required every ten years for things like Tetanus, Polio, etc. So if you are around 25 you will be needing those for sure.

You will also need a TB test (which is usually done at a Public Health Clinic) for school as well.

CDC guidelines are for Americans. I had a classmate who was born in 1959 and was recorded as "immune due to age" for measles, mumps, and rubella. I know she had the titre drawn for rubella because I went with her. She thought it was funny because she knew she'd had all three before 1965 because back then she said your Mum took you round to visit so you were exposed and every kid in the neighbourhood got sick in the same couple of months.

missnurse89

107 Posts

Wow! It's crazy how these things differ per country but seeing as how there are differing risk factors in different countries it makes sense. I hope the responses helped!

NotReady4PrimeTime, RN

Specializes in NICU, PICU, PCVICU and peds oncology. Has 25 years experience. 16 Articles; 7,358 Posts

Interesting that you say that about your coworker, Fiona59. I work across the river from you in peds and when the measles outbreak last year was going on we all were told that it didn't matter if we were born before 1972, no one would be considered immune unless our OH&S records showed 2 doses of MMR. If we didn't have 2 doses, we'd have to have the vaccines. I can't have live-virus vaccines because I live with a transplant recipient so I had to have a titre done. And I was born LOOOOONG before 1972. I can distinctly remember having measles in 1966, the mumps in 1970 and my mother tells me I had rubella as a toddler.