Most Newly Arrived Refugees Have Overseas Vaccination Documentation Interview with:
Deborah Lee, MPH

Division of Global Migration and Quarantine
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: We wanted to assess whether documentation for vaccines provided to refugees overseas was received by clinicians in the US and if doses of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine were integrated into the vaccine schedule as recommended for adults and children by the US Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

CDC recommends that US-bound refugees receive vaccinations prior to arrival in the United States. Vaccinations are documented on the Vaccination Documentation Worksheet (DS-3025), which refugees bring with them to the United States, and made available to state and local refugee health programs through CDC’s Electronic Disease Notification (EDN) system. Thirty to 90 days after arrival, most refugees have a post-arrival health assessment performed by clinicians affiliated with the state and local refugee health programs.

Our assessment indicated that most refugees had overseas vaccination documentation available at the post-arrival health assessments (87%), and that MMR vaccine was given when needed (83%). Furthermore, many refugees (90%) in our assessment did not require an additional MMR dose because they had received vaccination before entering the United States. What should readers take away from your report?

Response: Most newly arrived refugees in the participating states have overseas vaccination documentation and, because of the overseas program, may not require an additional dose of MMR vaccine after arrival in the United States.

US refugee health providers should review overseas vaccination records, accessible on the DS-3025 form brought by the refugees and through CDC’s Electronic Disease Notification (EDN) system. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Additional outreach to US clinicians may increase awareness of overseas vaccination programs and reduce unnecessary vaccinations provided domestically. Future work should include methods for transfer of overseas vaccination information for refugees to state immunization information systems, so that the broader health community can access this important vaccination information. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: Information on current vaccine schedules is available at

US clinicians who care for refugees can access the overseas vaccination records through the EDN system by contacting the CDC EDN help desk at Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Am J Public Health. 2017 Mar 21:e1-e3. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2017.303698. [Epub ahead of print]
Evaluation of Measles-Mumps-Rubella Vaccination Among Newly Arrived Refugees.
Lee D1, Weinberg M1, Benoit S1.

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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