Shot to Hell

The last day we were official residents of Maryland, I took Chef and Game Teen to our pediatrician for checkups and shots. Two days later, I enrolled both of them in the local elementary school, and provided the school with both boys' complete immunization records.

I should have made copies.

Less than a month later, GameTeen would be transferred to a school that *supposedly* was better equipped to deal with his educational needs and for some strange reason, Chef's records went along for the ride. More like they took a journey into a black hole, because they were never seen again.

Thus began the regular phone calls from the school "We need Chef's immunization records," and I would inform the lady that I'd given them to her when I spent an hour with her, enrolling both my children in the school. "Right, right, you did-but I still need them." We'd go back and forth that I gave them to her, the fact that she misplaced them was not *my* problem.

Ah, but it was, because the school had to have a copy on file for federal purposes. So I called up to Maryland, got the pediatrician's office to send the school a copy and that was it.

I should have had them send it to me.

When we moved over here, I went to enroll both boys in the appropriate schools and once again, we had an issue with Chef's immunization records. Seems that the records were lost again. My argument that he had to have records to attend the previous school was not good enough, another call was made to the Maryland pediatrician's office. Someone went into their stored files, found his records and sent them to me. I copied them. (that copy is in my filing cabinet, but it only has shots until July, 2004.)

Last summer, I was pretty sure he needed to update his shots to enter middle school, so he and I sat in chairs at the health department and they stuck him twice, once for varicella and the second for DTaP. I brought the records (which strangely, had his records from birth to 2004 on them) to the middle school and thought that was it until he needed the meningitis shot for high school.

Nope.

Last night, we ventured over to his middle school to get his schedule and some uniform t-shirts for Chef. We waited in line for 20 minutes to get his schedule and I was then informed that he had an immunization hold because they had no record of his DTaP. Seriously? I was handed a copy of what they had, which was the same records I'd submitted when he enrolled in the elementary school in 2008. So we left the school empty handed (they had run out of all but large t-shirts long before we arrived.

This morning on my way to work, I called the Health Department, explained the situation and was told I had to bring Chef with me, even though all I needed was a copy of the records. So I drove past their offices on my way home, collected Chef, and came back.

The place was packed, unsurprising since school starts Monday, the county held all orientations yesterday and that was the first time many parents were aware that they might be missing immunizations. We waited in line for ten minutes, spoke with a representative and the statement "I need a copy of his immunization record for his school" was met with instructions that we'll be waiting a long time to get his shots, because it is first come, first served.

I repeated the information that I only needed a copy of his records, he got the shots last year, but the school lost them. Apparently, the schools have online access to this information and can pull it up at anytime, so she was confused by my request. Once we were clear that his school said they didn't have it, were refusing him entry and I knew he'd been there last year, she made some noise and asked one of the ladies behind the glass partition to print me a copy.

It was there in black and white, he got the needed shots July 10th of last year.

We then drive over to the school and drop off the records, but not before I asked for a copy. It's now attached to the fridge, but I'm about to scan that sucker into the computer, then email it to myself to have a virtual copy in my Google documents.

One thing is certain-the schools have lost his records several times in the past 8 years, with five left, they're not done losing his immunization records.



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