The Internet has a wealth of information about vaccines, vaccine-preventable diseases and immunization. But there is also a lot of misinformation, and some of it can be harmful if people use it to make decisions about their children’s health. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell whether what you’ve found can be trusted or not.
There are steps you can take to help you judge whether or not what you find on the Internet is reliable. This document will help you do that.
Evaluating immunization information: What can I believe?
Asking a few key questions can help you tell whether or not you can trust the information you find on the Internet. They are also useful for other sources of vaccine information, including newspapers, magazines, radio, pamphlets or books.
1. What is the source of the information? The website should:
2. Has the medical information been reviewed by scientific experts?
3. Is there a date showing when the information was posted on online and/or last revised?
4. Is there scientific evidence to back up the claims?
5. Is the site certified by the Health On the Net Foundation?
6. What are some signs that a website might not have a balanced point of view? A number of published studies have reviewed websites with anti-vaccine messages. These sites have many things in common:
Discuss information you read on the Internet with your doctor before making any health decisions.
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