You can find good vaccine info on the web

The Pediatric Insider

© 2013 Roy Benaroch, MD

Dr. Google, you’ve let a whole lot of people down.

If you Google a vaccine question, and many parents have, you’re very likely to find a good, science-based answer—but it will be buried among dozens of sites with anti-science, pro-disease propaganda. The mountain of misinformation is staggering, with multiple anti-vaccine sites repeating each other in a seemingly endless loop of worry and dread. Let neither facts nor truth nor glimmer of honesty stay them from the swift completion of their self-appointed fear mongering rounds.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure you’re getting reliable answers to your questions.

Start with the CDC’s vaccine home page, which leads to comprehensive information about just about any vaccine health topic.

Prefer an academic center over a government site? The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (perhaps the best children’s medical center in the world) has their own very comprehensive vaccine site, and even their own vaccine information app.

Looking for a more global view? Try the World Health Organization’s vaccine page.

Willing to put up with a little snark? Several good science bloggers frequently discuss vaccine topics, no holds barred, and end up with some robust back-and-forth in the comments. Try Respectful Insolence, The Skeptical Raptor, or Neurologica.

Finally, if what you’d like is a meta-search that looks at only the best vaccine information sources, and weeds out the crap, try this Science Based Vaccine Search Engine.

Parents don’t have the time to wade through the idiocy—they want real, genuine information to help make decisions. Google won’t do that for you, but these links will.

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6 Comments on “You can find good vaccine info on the web”

  1. One of the best endorsements for vaccinations are the pediatricians themselves. I figured my if my pediatricians were vaccinating their own children, then it was a good bet. I did not buy the argument that pediatricians were just too busy to look at the information that folks on the internet had read. I think it’s good that doctors are being more vocal about it too. Also, would insurance companies pay for something that they thought just might cause expensive injuries? Not likely!


  2. Dr. Roy Says:

    Emily, you’re right. I’ve found that simply talking about my own kids (fully vaccinated, on schedule) and the kids in my practice (every one I want to keep healthy!) is often a powerful reassurance.

    However, in publications for doctors, that kind of conversation isn’t considered the best way to reach families. It’s considered too personal and emotional, and too much of an argument from authority. What we’re encouraged to do is share the data and the studies. But the anti-vax crowd stirs up fear with emotional arguments that are difficult to dispel with cold facts alone.


  3. Dr. M Says:

    Thanks for sharing those other blogs! The latest one on Neurologica about the anti/for groups of people was pretty interesting and spot on. I love that there other people “on our side” out there, now we just need to get them more recognition!


  4. DrD Says:

    check out


  5. Fred Knochel Says:

    Vaccination Injury is real in adults and children. Check out the 2016VAERSData.csv It has the most current info available. Every day there is an average of 12 vaccination injuries with at least 1 of those being life threatening.


  6. Dr. Roy Says:

    Fred Knockel, I think, is referring to data from VAERS, which collects any reports of any suspected or purported vaccine. However, as the VAERS site itself says: “VAERS accepts all reports without judging whether the event was caused by the vaccine.” Unfortunately, the VAERS database has many claims that seem driven by lawsuits, and many others (like car accidents) that are obviously unrelated to vaccines.

    I welcome a followup post from him with a source for his claim about the daily rates of vaccine injuries. As far as I can tell, he made that up.


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