Fake news on Facebook, Twitter, and from our Google search results.
So who do you trust, especially on an important topic like vaccines?
Who to Trust About Vaccines
Hopefully you can trust your pediatrician, but the fact that we now have holistic pediatricians and “vaccine friendly” pediatricians who encourage parents to follow alternative schedules means that even then, you might be listening to the wrong person.
“Pediatricians who routinely recommend limiting the numbers of vaccines administered at a single visit such that vaccines are administered late are providing care that deviates from the standard evidence-based schedule recommended by these bodies.”
Edwards et al Countering Vaccine Hesitancy
What about a study published in a medical journal?
You have to trust that, right?
Not necessarily, considering that predatory, pay-to-publish journals are a thing. Just like they sound, these journals will publish just about anything – as long as your check clears.
You have to learn to be skeptical when looking for information about vaccines.
Some general questions experts recommend asking, and which will certainly help when visiting a website about vaccines, include:
Who runs the Web site?
Who pays for the Web site?
What is the Web site’s purpose?
What is the original source of the Web site’s information?
How does the Web site document the evidence supporting its information?
Who reviewed the information before the owner posted it on the Web site?
How current is the information on the Web site?
How does the Web site owner choose links to other sites?
What are they selling?
Fortunately, anti-vaccine websites are fairly easy to spot.
They are often filled with vaccine injury stories and articles about how vaccines are filled with poison (they aren’t), don’t really work (they do), and aren’t even needed (they certainly are). And many will try to sell you fake vaccine detox kits and autism cures at the same time they are making you terrified about vaccines.
Tragically, their pseudo-scientific arguments can sometimes be persuasive, especially if you don’t understand that they are mostly the same old arguments that the anti-vaccine movement has been using for over 200 years to scare parents away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.
Which Vaccine Journals to Trust
Why do “fake” medical and science journals exist?
Probably because there is a lot of pressure to get published.
Unfortunately, almost all of them get listed in PubMed, which is why anti-vax folks with a list of studies from PubMed don’t usually get very far when trying to argue against the fact that vaccines work, are safe, and are necessary.
So how do you know if you can trust the conclusions of a medical study or journal article?
are written by people who have expertise on the topic they are writing about
Most importantly, look for studies that have not been refuted by others already, as it is often hard to fully evaluate studies to see if they have been designed properly or have other major flaws.
Also know that research into the safety and efficacy of vaccines is much more complete than anti-vax “experts” lead (mislead) some vaccine-hesitant parents to believe. And that the great majority of people understand that the great benefits of vaccines far outweigh any small risks.
What to Know About Finding Trusted Vaccine Information
Learn to find trusted vaccine information, so you don’t get fooled by the latest tactics of the anti-vaccine movement.