How to find good vaccine information online

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 InsolenceThe 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.

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  • May Wright

    Along the same lines: what would be handy for people who want to try to refute anti-vaccine memes on social media (FB, Twitter, blogs) is a resource page which features some of the most popular “arguments” against vaccines, all in one place, and then has links to science-based refutations on various sites. So, for instance, it would have the meme I saw doing the rounds of Facebook this morning, that “Gardasil has killed and injured more women than the disease it’s meant to protect!!11!!”, or the one about “I’m not injecting aborted fetuses into my baby, #ProLife SAY NO TO VACCINES!!” and then a few links to credible sources of information which provide the relevant facts?

    Maybe such a page or site already exists, if so I’d love a link to it.

  • May Wright

    Thank you for that, I will certainly look those pages up! Another one someone pointed me to was “Refutations to Anti-Vaccine Memes”, which has some cute “sharable” infographics to counter the popular anti-vax memes that seem to zoom their way across social media. There is a website and a Facebook page:

    http://refutationstoantivaccinememes.org/
    https://www.facebook.com/RtAVM

    Again, I really appreciate any help I can get!

    • Guest

      (duplicate deleted)

    • May Wright

      For instance, this is a good one to counter the “I’m not injecting aborted fetuses into my baby!!” one:

  • May Wright

    I’m not sure what your point is.