Polio: How to Find Your Long-Lost Vaccine Records and Other FAQs

“Adults seeking their polio immunization history should check with their health care provider to see if they have that information available,” said Monica Pomeroy, a public information officer with the New York State Department of Health. “However, the New York State Immunization Information System was established in 2008, so data may not be available before 2008.

New York City has its own separate system, the Citywide Immunization Registry.

Or you can go to your attic and open boxes of your elementary school art projects to see if someone has saved your childhood medical records.

Immunize has a tip sheet that also recommends contacting an old school or employer for records. Typically, schools and daycare centers must obtain written permission from parents or an eligible student to provide vaccine documents.

What if I don’t have a healthcare provider?

Here is a national contact list and the ISS information for the three-state area. At this time, IIS records cannot be transferred across state lines, so people should call their home state for information.

Usually you have to identify yourself with the requests.

Connecticut
Call: 860-509-7929
Web: Connecticut WebIZ
Email: [email protected]

New Jersey
Call: 609-826-4860
Website: NJIIS
Helpdesk: Submit a ticket
Apply for Vaccination Registration: NJIIS

New York State (except New York City)
Call: 518-473-4437
Web: New York State Immunization Information System
Email: [email protected]

New York City
Call: 347-396-2400
Web: New York Citywide Immunization Registry
Vaccination Details: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/services/cir-parents-guardians.page
Email: [email protected]

If I can’t find out if I’m vaccinated, what are my options?

If you check with your health care provider, your home state’s immunization repository, and your attic, your doctor may prescribe a full course of vaccination or a booster shot.

“If they’re really not sure and worried, [there’s] it certainly doesn’t hurt to get a booster,” said NYU’s Merson. “Or if they really don’t believe they’re vaccinated, [there’s] no harm in getting a full set of vaccinations: three doses.”

It’s hard to believe that finding vaccine data is so difficult.

Too True. Adler-Milstein of UCSF said it would make more sense if there were a federal system where children are given a national ID number for their vaccine records. But it would be difficult to unify all state systems.

“Different states have built their immunization registration systems differently. There is no standard that exists,” she said. “A national patient identification would really help reduce some of the friction to a better national picture of immunization reporting.”

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