Immunizations and Lab Services

What can I expect with Immunizations and Lab Services?

U.S. studies indicate that about 65% of internationally adopted children have no written records of immunizations, and in cases where records exist they are often only partially complete.
Also, immunization intervals and vaccine strengths are not the same in all countries. For these reasons, and because infectious diseases are unfortunately common in internationally adopted children, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend that newly adopted children be fully vaccinated. Vaccines commonly omitted from foreign vaccination programs include those for Haemophilus influenzae type b, hepatitis B, varicella, and measles, mumps, and rubella.

Immunizations and TB Skin Testing

We recommend to either start over with a new series of immunizations in accordance with standards recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, or to have specific titers measured that will guide catch-up. Recommendations will be made to your primary pediatrician which allow him or her to administer the needed immunizations along with a TB skin test.

Laboratory Work-Up

A number of lab tests will be performed during your child's first visit. This is considered the standard of care for internationally adopted children who are generally at greater risk for a variety of medical and infectious diseases. Children from Korea, Guatemala or Taiwan might require fewer initial screening tests. Until you have results of the lab test be cautious about hand washing and hold off on sharing baths to prevent the spread of intestinal parasites.

Blood Work

  • Newborn Screening Panel (young infants only)
  • Complete blood count and iron profile
  • HIV Antibody, Hepatitis B panel, Hepatitis C panel (all on arrival and 6 months later)
  • Serologic testing for syphilis
  • Thyroid function tests
  • Lead level
  • Calcium, phosphorous and alkaline phosphatase levels
  • Hemoglobin electrophoresis (at times )

Stool Tests

  • Stool examination for ova and parasites, 3 preserved specimens
  • Stool examination for Giardia antigen and Cryptosporidium antigen, one fresh specimen

Dietary Recommendations

Because internationally adopted children often arrive with nutritional deficiencies, we make recommendations regarding the use of infant or toddler formulas and multivitamins based on your child's age and specific background.