Disease prevention is a huge part of public health, and it is always better to prevent a disease than to treat it. Immunizations can protect both the people who receive them and those with whom they come in contact. Over the years, vaccines have prevented countless cases of infectious diseases and saved literally millions of lives. For this reason, it is important to ensure that you and your family are always up to date with immunizations.
Keeping up-to-date immunization records for your family, especially your children, is important, as you will need your children’s immunization records to register them for school, child care, athletic teams, and summer camps or to travel.
Good record-keeping begins with good record-taking. When you need official copies of immunizations records, they will be much easier to get if you have accurate, up-to-date personal records. Follow these tips to maintain your family’s immunization records:
· Keep your child’s immunization record in a safe place where you can easily locate it.
· Bring the record to each of your child’s doctor visits. Ask the doctor or nurse to record the vaccine given, date, and dosage on your child’s immunization record. If you don’t bring your own record, be sure that you get a copy of your child’s full immunization record at the end of each visit.
If you are unsure about the status of your child’s immunizations, here are some places to look for an official immunization record:
· The doctor’s office or clinic where your child gets immunizations
· State’s health department or Department of Public Health
· Schools your child has attended
(Department of Health and Human Services – Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012)
For more information about immunizations and vaccine records, please visit www.mass.gov/dph/imm.