How many of your patients are fully immunized?

Take every opportunity to update your patient’s routine immunizations. Most patients’ don’t know their immunization status and don’t have records. So how can you find out? Look at previous primary care records, emergency room records (especially for wound care), college/high school records, military records, and don’t forget Mom. I have my original pediatric immunization records that my mother saved from over 50 years ago. Check to see if your patient has a “yellow book”, an international certificate of vaccination. If no records exist, then begin updating considering the recommendations for tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, influenza, pneumococcal disease, MMR, varicella, herpes zoster, hepatitis A and B.

Here’s a list of resources to help you increase the immunization rates for routine immunizations for adults in your practice.

2009 Immunization schedule for adults for the U.S. with footnotes
VIS-Vaccine Information Statements are required by law to be given to patients. 30 languages other than English are also available.
Needle Tips is an e newsletter all about vaccinations for adults and children.
Do I Need Any Vaccinations Today? Is a handout you can leave in your waiting area for patients to consider for themselves and other family members? Many patients ask me about this and it helps to remind me to use every opportunity I can to immunize.
Immunization Screening Questionnaire is available to photocopy or purchase a tear off pad to use as a timesaving tool to prescreen contraindications for vaccination.
Immunization records may be available free from your state’s public health department or may be purchased inexpensively from immunize.org

There are 3 types of immunizations to consider when preparing a patient for international travel.
1. Routine- what every adult in the U.S. needs
2. Recommended- what the traveler needs because of possible exposure on this trip
3. Required- what is needed for entry into a specific country (i.e. yellow fever vaccine)

If your patients have all of their routine immunizations up to date, they will need fewer shots for their upcoming trip.

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