How Do I Know if My Vaccinations Are Up to Date?

Nov 02, 2023
 How Do I Know if My Vaccinations Are Up to Date?
Vaccines are essential for everyone's health and usually begin when you're an infant — but how can you be sure you're up to date on your shots? Learn about vaccination schedules and where to find previous vaccine records.

Vaccines are vital to everyone's health and wellness; they keep harmful diseases from spreading by raising people's immunity to certain viruses, bacteria, and infectious diseases.

Most people receive vaccines as infants to build immunity to dangerous diseases quickly. However, you need to repeat some vaccines throughout your life to keep your immunity strong.

If you need clarification on your vaccinations, the Prudent Medical Providers team can help. Three expert nurse practitioners lead our team, providing you with the essential information you need to stay up to date on vaccines.

Understanding vaccines

Foreign invaders like bacteria, viruses, or fungi can enter the body and wreak havoc on your health. You can, however, protect your body from these intruders by getting the necessary vaccines.

Vaccination is a safe and effective way to protect yourself from harmful diseases that could have lasting effects on your health.

Most vaccines contain either dead or weakened forms of the disease. Once we inject the vaccine into your body, it triggers your immune system to produce antibodies against the disease.

Antibodies are a type of protein that develops after your body encounters a virus or bacteria. The antibody protects you from the adverse effects of the disease. Some vaccines require multiple doses so your body builds up long-lasting antibodies, which then bind to the foreign substance for the body to eliminate.

Vaccines are incredibly safe, and there's no chance you can get the disease from the injection.

What vaccinations do you need?

Vaccinations begin as soon as you're born, with infants receiving the hepatitis B and RSV vaccine at birth. The hepatitis vaccine is a three-dose injection spaced several months apart as your baby grows.

Babies continue to get vaccines in their first year of life, including the following primary vaccinations:

  • Rotavirus
  • Influenza
  • Varicella (chickenpox)
  • Hepatitis A
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • Diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus (DTap)
  • Influenza type B
  • Polio

Additionally, the CDC recommends children 6 months and older receive the COVID-19 vaccine to protect against the dangers of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

As you age, you also require other vaccines, including the human papillomavirus and meningococcal vaccine, which protects against meningitis.

Staying up to date on vaccines

If you need clarification on your vaccination status, the first step is to contact any doctor you saw while you were growing up to determine if you have a vaccination record.

Every doctor's office that provides vaccinations should keep a hard or digital copy of your vaccine record. You can request them to send the record to our team so we can ensure you're up to date on the necessary vaccines. You can also ask your parents or caregiver about your previous vaccines.

Titers are another way to find out if you need any vital vaccines. A titer is a blood test that shows if you're still immune to certain diseases. If the blood test returns negative, we must revaccinate you against that specific antigen.

You may also need different vaccines based on travel and your overall health. Our team helps you determine what other vaccines you need based on your lifestyle.

To schedule a vaccine consultation, don't hesitate to call Prudent Medical Providers today at one of our offices in Tacoma or Federal Way, Washington. You can also request a telehealth appointment on the website.