Do we have anything like an Impfpass in the US?

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I've been to several doctors in Germany that are just absolutely astounded that we don't have some kind of standardized immunization record in the US.  They just look at me like I'm an idiot and say "Oh, you must have that there, I can't believe that".  To all my fellow Americans, what do you do about this?  We really don't have one, right?  Do you just get all of the vaccinations again?  My parents probably have a random assortment of records some where, but I don't feel like bothering them to dig all of this out.  It really shouldn't be this hard when you come from a developed country ... I mean, I'm kind of astounded now also, after living here a while.  We must be the only developed country in the world not to have this (we seem to make this list quite often :( )

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I'm from NYC, and when I moved out to LA, I requested all of my medical records and was given something that looked very much like an Impfpass. It was the same size and yellow, but just a folded card with no pages. It lists all of my vaccinations as a baby and whatever else I got throughout my childhood. 

Apparently, I never had my second round of MMR, so they gave them to me again here in Berlin a few months ago.  My sister, whose a nurse, says it won't do any harm to have them done again.

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Hold on to your card and keep it with your birth certificate and passport.  Keep a back-up xerox copy.

Whenever you change physicians, bring your card so they'll know when you're due for boosters.  Remember that a burn, crush, or puncture injury will necessitate a tetanus booster if your last immunization was more than five years in the past.

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I just checked my Dutch Impfpass, but tetanus should be part of the DTP vaccination: difteria, tetanus and polio. Previously valid for 15 years, but now back to 10 years. I had one in 2009.

 

When I entered Nigeria once, I had to show them my Impfpass. They wanted proof that I had a vaccination against yellow fever.

 

@plaisance: you don't need all vaccinations. It depends on your travels as well.

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9 hours ago, plaisance said:

I've been to several doctors in Germany that are just absolutely astounded that we don't have some kind of standardized immunization record in the US.  They just look at me like I'm an idiot and say "Oh, you must have that there, I can't believe that".  To all my fellow Americans, what do you do about this?  We really don't have one, right?  Do you just get all of the vaccinations again?  My parents probably have a random assortment of records some where, but I don't feel like bothering them to dig all of this out.  It really shouldn't be this hard when you come from a developed country ... I mean, I'm kind of astounded now also, after living here a while.  We must be the only developed country in the world not to have this (we seem to make this list quite often :( )

 

The UK wasn't much better in my experience. I got one when I was about 18 awhen I started to travel but it only included those vaccinations I had from after that time. My doctor here had some trouble deciphering it and working out what I needed. Based on the booklet, my memories and a few assumptions of what was conducted in the UK during my youth I had a small program of top ups. I am however still using this UK Impfpass for some reason and each new vaccination ends up in a new random place in the booklet according to whatever nurse is doing it at the time.

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The University of Wisconsin - Madison used to organize the UN WHO yellow vaccination records/pass for students who were studying abroad in developing countries circa 1990. 

So few Americans travel abroad it is pretty unheard of. The assumption is it isn't necessary even though it is a good idea.

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I need to collect all my various vaccinations from around the world and get it all entered into a German immunization booklet. Do you know if they'll be able to read it all? Will they do it for me at the doctor's office?

 

The other issue is that I don't know if I have all my records. Does anyone know if there's a test they can do to see which vaccinations you've been given?

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In the US it is called a "shot record", and it is a little yellow booklet, or at least that is what I have had for many years.  I've used it in the US, Russia, and Germany, it seems like the doctors can figure out what it says.

 

 

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12 hours ago, plaisance said:

...  To all my fellow Americans, what do you do about this?  We really don't have one, right?  Do you just get all of the vaccinations again?  ...

We do have one and it looks just like the yellow one I have for my son. But I must admit, my father was in the military, so this was a standard thing to have along with the SSN card. We had to show it everytime we started school.

 

1 hour ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

... Do you know if they'll be able to read it all? Will they do it for me at the doctor's office?

The other issue is that I don't know if I have all my records. Does anyone know if there's a test they can do to see which vaccinations you've been given?

They usually enter the name of the vaccination into the book, either as a sticker or legibly written and then a mark mapping it to the vaccination it is for (it's a tabular/matrix form). The drs know the names of the drugs. You can get blood work done to see for what you've been immunized against, but it is probably an out-of-pocket expense. I had this done for chickenpox because I don't remember getting it, but I do remember my brother been sick with it. They said I had the immunity, but my mom doesn't recall anything. 

 

The thing is, most vaccs need a booster to stay effective, so you can probably start refreshing them again if you want. I had to redo the MMR when I moved to Germany, then 10 years later I wanted to get pregnant and it looked like I didn't have enough immunity to rubella, so I had to get that extra and then wait 3 months before conceiving. 

 

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I needed one to move to South Africa, so they just gave me all of them again.  Made me sick as a dog for 2 days. 

They are supposed to be rid of this mess with personal digital medical records, but I am not sure where they are with that now.  The tin-foil hat, "gubmint bad," or the anti-vaxxer crowd struck it down? No idea.  Would be nice to get a notification when I needed a booster.  

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2 hours ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

I need to collect all my various vaccinations from around the world and get it all entered into a German immunization booklet.

 

Why?

 

I only have the vaccinations I received in Germany in my German booklet. Although I know I had a small foldable yellow card as a child, I have no idea where it is. 

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16 minutes ago, engelchen said:

 

Why?

 

I only have the vaccinations I received in Germany in my German booklet. Although I know I had a small foldable yellow card as a child, I have no idea where it is. 

13 minutes ago, snowingagain said:

Me too.  My childhood ones are irrelevant now.

 

I brought my childhood booklet to my german doctor and she was pretty thankful and grouped the two together.  Of particular interest to her was that i had been vaxxed against Measles, yet my titrations show no immunity to it.  She also was interested in things like Hepatitis and Tetanus. It can also be important to know WHAT  we were vaccinated with, esp in anticipation of any allergic reactions for those that are allergic to eggs, for example.  If she knows i was vaccinated with the MMR in 1976 in Canada, she can find out what vaccination it was exactly. 

 

Childhood vaccinations may not be of high relevance, but it can be... either way, it doesn't hurt to get all the records together and hand them over.  My doctor said that me coming from a foreign country, it was nice to have the complete record at hand. 

 

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Well I did not have MMR.    Noone has tested me for immunity for measles here, only for  Rubella ("German" measles) which is standard in pregnancy (though better before!).

 

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2 hours ago, BradinBayern said:

I needed one to move to South Africa, so they just gave me all of them again.  Made me sick as a dog for 2 days. 

They are supposed to be rid of this mess with personal digital medical records, but I am not sure where they are with that now.  The tin-foil hat, "gubmint bad," or the anti-vaxxer crowd struck it down? No idea.  Would be nice to get a notification when I needed a booster.  

How much did it cost you?

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2 minutes ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

How much did it cost you?

Too many years ago.  It was at the University clinic and for an exchange program, so they might have covered it.  

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1 hour ago, kaffeemitmilch said:

How much did it cost you?

 

The basics ones should be covered by your insurance, but not the exotic ones (ones you need for traveling abroad) like yellow fever, typhoid or hep A. I think my hep shot was €75 and you need 2 (or 3, I cannot remember).

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I was in military healthcare a ways back and what we did was this:

 

If the source is credible we medics would neatly put what you had that was still relevant it into a yellow little immunization pamphlet, something that looked like this:

 

https://www.google.de/search?q=yellow+immunization+record&safe=active&client=firefox-b&dcr=0&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=uFKUeecsHQnXDM%253A%252CAD7JSPeE3NzjLM%252C_&usg=__L-x0qVOSbR0a5nDWdxZY2OA6BXQ%3D&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjD9Pjd7_XXAhWFbVAKHaA_CVMQ9QEIZTAQ#imgdii=OxoWC4ScfcLVTM:&imgrc=uFKUeecsHQnXDM:

 

And then add an official-looking stamp of our medical organization so people knew that it was put together by someone who was up-to-date on immunization best practices and who was working directly under a physician.

 

You can buy blanks online or ask to use the german one they doctor has in the office. If he or she wants to vover his or her tush then he or she can write 'transferred from ...' or soemthing to that effect.

 

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