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.
Roy Benaroch is a pediatrician who blogs at The Pediatric Insider. He is also the author of Solving Health and Behavioral Problems from Birth through Preschool: A Parent’s Guide and A Guide to Getting the Best Health Care for Your Child.