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Welcome to Immu-News, the Immunization Initiatives listserv, a monthly resource for the community of participants in the Immunization Initiatives Project. This will be the final edition of Immu-News.  Our thanks to the participating clinics and staff for making this project a success!

August 2010

Over the last three years, we have touched on many topics that we hoped would help you as you work to improve immunization rates in your clinic.  For the final edition, we return to the important issue of patient-carried immunization records.

PHOTO: Child checkup

First, we offer an article that provides a convincing yes to the title question: “Are Patient-Held Vaccination Records Associated with Improved Vaccination Coverage Rates?” The authors of the article, James T. McElligott and Paul M. Darden, conclude that the “Use of patient-held vaccination records is an easily implemented strategy that is associated with increased immunization rates. A greater effect was seen in groups at risk for underimmunization.  Methods to incorporate and to ensure effective use of these records should be implemented”  The article was published in Pediatrics in February of 2010.  The full citation is as follows: Pediatrics 2010;125;e467-e472; originally published online Feb 15, 2010; DOI: 10.1542/peds.2009-0835. The online version of this article, along with updated information and services, is located on the World Wide Web at: Or click on the PDF above.

IMAGE: Patient resourceAs a compliment to the article, and by way of a final thank-you for your participation, MCN, along with CHEC (Community Health Education Concepts), has developed patient-friendly, low literacy, bi-lingual immunization cards for you to use with your clients.  The cards are 5x7, and can be printed from your clinic computers.  There are two versions, a Lifetime Card for adults, and a Child and Teen Card, both in Spanish/English.  We designed the card to be as simple as possible, and to include only the most important information.  If the information is meaningful and understandable to the clients, they are more likely to understand the importance of keeping their shots up to date.

With the Child and Teen card, you can encourage your clients to use it by personalizing it.  Do you have a digital camera in your office?  You can take a photo of the child, download the photograph, drop it into the box on the card, and then print the card on your office computer.  If you don’t have this technology, don’t worry!  Encourage your clients to use the old-fashioned method of cutting out a picture of their child and pasting it in the box.  You can also fill in the vaccines and dates on the computer the first time you print it.  You can update the card on the computer when the client returns for the next dose, update the picture, and print a new version.  Or you can simply fill in the new date by hand.

Immu-News is a project of the Migrant Clinicians Network.  The Immunization Initiative is funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Immu-News Listserv is a support service for clinics participating in the project. This is a post-only listserv, and postings will come from Immunization Initiative staff about once a month. If others at your clinic would like to be on the listserv, or if you have questions about the listserv or resources listed here, or if you would like to add something to the posts, please contact Kathryn Anderson, administrator, at You can also contact the listserv administrator if you would like to subscribe or unsubscribe from the list.