In our last blog entry on methods for tracking immunization records, we briefly mentioned computerized Immunization Information Systems (IIS), also known as immunization registries – a crucially helpful source in identifying everything one may need to know about their vaccination records. An IIS is a computerized system that documents and stores individuals’ immunization data to assist individual patients, while also providing important immunization data on the population as a whole. According to the CDC, “an IIS provides aggregate data on vaccinations for use in surveillance and program operations, and in guiding public health action with the goals of improving vaccination rates and reducing vaccine-preventable disease.”

Primarily however, Immunization Information Systems are meant for serving individuals, providing parents with a reliable method for tracking and storing their children’s immunization history, while allowing doctor’s to better anticipate what and when future vaccines should be administered. This last aspect serves a key function in helping an IIS manage a more general goal aimed at eliminating both missed opportunities to immunize, and unnecessary duplicate immunizations. Since IIS are part of a relatively new technology, they do not represent a complete database for everyone’s immunization history. For example, in regards to individuals searching for theirs or their child’s records, the California Immunization Registry (CAIR), states that only records from the late 1990s are likely to be present. Also, individuals are free to opt out or deny involvement for them or their child in their respective IIS at any time.

Still, as medical records move in a more digital direction, Immunization Information Systems have proved to be a key tool in the fight to ensure timely vaccinations in all adults and children, offering a secure, confidential system for immunization records, as well as a helpful source for tracking or replacing personal records.

If you are interested in locating yours or your child’s immunization records, the CDC recommends contacting your state IIS.

To discover more about Immunization Information Systems, please visit:
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/programs/iis/about.html