I have no immunization records... what do I do?

  1. So I'm having dejavue... this is what kept me from the nursing program 10 years ago!!!

    I am 32 years old and I am going back to college and getting my nursing license finally. Right now I'm getting all the prerequisites taken care of but my ultimate problem is that I don't have my immunization records from when I was a child. I know I had all my shots, I just can't prove it! I contacted my mother several years later (when we started speaking again) and brought up my shot records with her. My mother is quite adamant that she gave it to me but I don't have it. After much back and forth I dropped it and let go of my desire.

    I'm not so much a pushover now and I want my darn nursing lic . So the counselor and WNC college told me I'd have to get my shots redone and to contact a health nurse. So I've done that and was told I'm too old for most shots & that they only do 18 years and under. She was quite nice, but unhelpful and referred me to another office. So I called them, talked to a nurse and she didn't even know what I'd be able to get, what I'd need for the nursing program or what they'd even cost me. She was utterly unhelpful and I'm frustrated. I've even contacted my old high school in CA to see if I can get a copy. Of course I graduated in '95 (dark ages as far as they are concerned) and they can't help me.

    Can someone please enlighten me and let me know what I'd need as far as shots go now, how much I'd need (ie a series of the same shot over a period of time) & what's required for someone in my position? I live in Northern Nevada (I'd assume that's a factor). What ever information you have is a HUGE HELP! I don't want to give up again and I feel STUCK!

    Thank you for your time in reading this and responding. Again, I greatly appreciate it!
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    About basilisk06

    Joined: Jun '10; Posts: 7; Likes: 1
    from US


  3. by   BacktotheBeach
    I don't think you will need shots repeated. They will simply do a titer to check your antibodies and whatever you don't have immunity for, they will need to give you. Hardly any 'older' students have all their records from childhood, the titers are all you need!
  4. by   moma8gma1
    Have you tried contacting the hospital you most likely had your shots from? What about your pediatrician's office? They might have these in their records. Can you get a copy of your own health records?
    Good luck to you -- and I hope you don't let this glitch stop you this time.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    I had misplaced all of my immunization records, so I simply had titers drawn to prove that I had enough immunity to hepatitis B, varicella, measles, mumps, rubella, etc. My school of nursing accepted the titer results in the place of actual immunization records. In addition, I was not going to receive these shots again if it could be avoided in any possible way. Good luck to you!
  6. by   basilisk06
    Thanks superV, walomom & TheCommuter! I really appreciate the info! I'll have to look into titers and find out where I can get that done (& how much it'll cost)!

    To walomom, I moved so much I don't even know who my pediatricians were or what state they were in. I thought of that too, but I guess THAT would be too easy...LOL!

    At least I know I have enough time to get this done now instead of pushing it off later. Thanks again, I really appreciate the help
  7. by   Cherish
    You can get titers done with your primary care, or local county/city public health center, or your schools health department. Usually cost $20-35 for titers blood draw. Call your local health department, you can get shots and school physicals completed there too.
  8. by   shortnorthstudent
    My college has a health office and they are charged with making sure that students in various programs have all of the medical records/shots, etc. that are required by their programs. I would recommend finding out of you have a department like that at your school and if they do, I would visit and find out what you are required to have.

    My program requires one of the following:
    proof of immunity (titer)
    proof of immunization after 1985 or
    proof of immunization

    The vaccinations that we have to have the above for are:
    hep B

    We are also required to have a two step tb test, which we'll have to follow yearly with a repeat tb annually.
  9. by   basilisk06
    Thank so much Cherish & shortnorthstudent! I'll be looking to see if our college actually offers a student health office. That is great info! I started digging a little more and found these requirements listed online through my college in a very strange place:

    1. Proof of negative 2 step TB skin test within last 12 months. If positive, negative chest X-ray report within last 12 months
    2. Two (2) immunizations for Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) or Titer for Rubella and Rubeola (Not required if born prior to January 1, 1957
    3. Hepatitis B series or waiver, approved by Director of Nursing & Allied Health
    4. Submission of an acceptable physical signed by a physician or nurse practitioner. Forms are available at the office of Nursing & Allied Health
    5. Tetanus vaccination within last ten (10) years

    I'm assuming that the Hep B waiver would apply if my titers showed it was unnecessary. I am still waiting to hear back from the Nursing & Allied Health Dept. at my college regarding the whole point of this post (which I think I've gotten figured out without their help thanks to all these responses )!

    All this that everyone's provided makes me feel like my nursing degree is still possible. Thanks for everything! It has been quite invaluable !
  10. by   happy2learn
    I was in the same boat. The only shot record I had was 1 MMR done. My pediatrician had not been in business for years. I do not have a physician. I'm 24 and I don't have health insurance.

    So I needed 1 more MMR ($70 at the Kroger Little Clinic - the booster was cheaper than having a titer done), Tdap ($59) and Varicella (Chicken Pox.) For me, I am able to waive the Hep B until the actual nursing clinicals start. I had to get all the others before I was able to get into the STNA program (which I have to complete before I can get on the nursing waitlist).

    I knew I had Chicken Pox so I had a titer done at Labcorp for $99. Two Varicella shots were going to cost $240 and they are on backorder for 1 month. I had to go to Kroger first and have the Nurse Practitioner write me a request for the titer.

    Also, make sure you get the Two Step PPD done BEFORE you get any immunizations. The NP said the immunizations can give false positive.

    After all of these were done, I had my physical done.
  11. by   tarsmith
    If you have a primary physician go to them and have them draw titers to see what, if anything you have been given. They will be able to look at the serology and determine what if anything you need. You will have to get a form from school or something and they will have to sign it stating that you have immunity or you will get the required shots. Hopes this helps and good luck,

  12. by   mamacashew
    If you have had the shots and no records, you need to get the titers done. Do NOT just get new shots. Your body will have a reaction to the vaccines if you are already immune. And the reaction is not fun. I found this out the hard way when I went to get a tetanus booster.

    Everyone needs one every ten years, or so I thought. I found out that I don't need a booster ever again. My left arm, the site of the booster shot, is fire engine red, very swollen and hotter than Hades. There is also a knot about the size of a walnut under my skin. I went to my doctor and he told me it was a reaction to the vaccine/booster because I was already immune!

    So better to get the tests done and not risk the reaction. In my opinion.
  13. by   JROregon

    You will need a tetanus shot every 10 years. Your immunity wears off for tetanus. If you get more than one in a ten year period, you may have a reaction but this isn't always the case. Typically, you can get titers for measles, rubella, Hep B, and chicken pox.
  14. by   basilisk06
    Wow... that is a lot to think about. I was thinking, like happy2learn, that it might be cheaper to just get the immunizations redone! But after mamacashew's info... I'm not sure it's the best! I know I've had my boosters, though, but I might have to just take Tara, Cherish, TheCommuter & superV's advice and have titers drawn to see what it says first. Boy, THAT's going to cost me *sigh* but it's gotta be done!

    I don't have a family care practitioner, or insurance... so I was thinking of the most cost effective route. Looks like either way I might be paying (no pun intended). I've had my fair share of health problems in the past so I'm not sure how my body will react to immunizations again. I never had a reaction as a child, but I know that's completely different...

    Hmm.... decisions decisions! Thanks for all the from everyone. It's impossible to be overly informed! I'd rather be told something twice than not at all! Thanks happy2learn, tarsmith & mamacashew for chiming in as well. I love hearing everyone's point of view!