Monday, August 13, 2012

The Vaccine Hunt

So for my masters program I have to do this 200 hour practicum (which I talked about here) which I am starting this semester.  I have spent a fair bit of time worrying about exactly how to get my hours in, but I kind of forgot to worry about the things I needed to do before I could even START logging time.  Turns out, I have to be CPR certified and have proof of a ton of vaccines before I can get started.  Well, I recently got a tetanus shot (due to a run in with a rusty nail... so cliche) that had the whooping cough included, so that one wasn't a big deal, but the Hep B and the MMR...let me ask you how you go about proving you had your MMR and Hep B vaccines when you were a child?

"Call my doctor" you say.  Yes, that seems logical.  And is exactly where I started.  But turns out my current doctor has a check mark in the box that says 'Was vaccinated as a child' or whatever, but doesn't actually have a copy of the real record.  Everything is electronic now and... well... they just aren't sure.  There MIGHT be a copy off site someplace.  Someone might be going there this week... they can look.  ( I don't think this women will ever call me again)  So I call my pediatrician.  Which... just feels strange.  Henry goes there now, and my mom worked there forever, but to call as a 32 year old adult asking for my medical records from when I was a child... I felt bad for the girl taking the call. 
'Yes... I haven't been a patient there in 14 years and I got these shots in the 80's and 90's but I REALLY need proof.  SOON.  Can you help me?"

So they are sending someone to their off site location to track them down.  Which is most likely just a storage unit or something, but I prefer to think of it as a dark damp cave where the people searching must wear head lights and carry a large weapon to keep the bats away. 

They said they could test my blood to prove I had the vaccines, but my insurance wont pay for it because it's for school and not medically necessary and student health wont cover it because I am only a part time student.  Oh the joy of living in the loop holes.  So the point of all of this is I am sending the medical records people into the bat cave.  Wish them luck, I really need these records.

Anyway, while I wait for those I am getting CPR certified tonight.  My big program orientation is Friday so I am working long days this week to make up for the time off, which means I am putting in a ten and a half hour day BEFORE going to the CPR certification class that lasts three hours.  What a fun start to my week.  At least I will be able to save your life if your heart stops after tonight! 



  1. I don't know about Hep B, but I know I got tested for MMR antibodies when I was pregnant (in 2008). Apparantly you can lose your immunity to those diseases, even if you were vaccinated as a child, because my Rubella antibodies were gone. Important, because I was working for a company that manufactured the MMR vaccine at the time and was in danger of coming in contact with the live virus. Anyway...all that to say, maybe check with your OB/GYN, you may have had the bloodwork done already.

  2. I think checking with your OB/GYN is a good idea, or with your RE maybe? I think both were on my RE blood work check list at the time.

  3. Thanks guys! I never would have thought to check with my OB. Alas, I called and they did not run the titers for Hep B or MMR. Would have been handy if they had them though!

  4. Library Media Specialists all had to be CPR certified, so I know all about that. Not hard, but time-consuming. It's kind of a nice thing to have, though. I had the HEP B shots when I was teaching as well and they are lifetime so,if you had them, you shouldn't have to have them again. Good luck with the Bat Cave.

  5. Call the highschool (or middle, or elementary). They're often the best place to get immunizations records.