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Vaccine Information: Can You Trust What You Read Online?

There is a lot of misinformation available online and parents need to be extremely careful when researching medical queries on the internet to make sure that they are not influenced by false claims.

Updated:May 16, 2019, 2:34 PM IST
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Vaccine Information: Can You Trust What You Read Online?
There is a lot of misinformation available online and parents need to be extremely careful when researching medical queries on the internet to make sure that they are not influenced by false claims.

While the internet is a great resource for information, there are also many less-than-credible websites that publish false claims. This is particularly dangerous when searching for medical facts online.

Data on vaccinations is one such topic where getting the correct information can be hard. Facts can be skewed with false sources and dodgy data. If you are looking to increase your knowledge of immunisation, it’s best to talk to a medical professional such as your family doctor or your child’s pediatrician. If you do seek out guidance online, doing a thorough check on the credibility of the website you are visiting is highly important in avoiding anti-vaxxer propaganda and scaremongering.

Here’s how you can evaluate whether what you are reading is from a credible source or not.

Check The Website

The website should be transparent about its ownership and any medical information published should be backed by health professionals or credible sources from trusted professionals or organisations. If experts are quoted on the website, their qualifications should clearly be mentioned. Websites that are government run, from well-known medical associations or trusted non-profit organisations are usually trustworthy and provide accurate info.

Review The Style Of Writing

If an article makes bold and dramatic claims and the language in general seems unreasonable and alarming with unbalanced views, it is likely that the information is being used to perpetuate myths or promote products for selling.

Dates And Updates Matter

Any website with authentic information will regularly review and update it. If what you are seeing does not have a date of publishing then it could be outdated or inaccurate.

Review The Sources

A website should provide adequate information on the sources for whatever data they are providing. See that you can access the original data for the statistics and studies they quote, and these too should come from reliable, trusted avenues.

Parents who have to vaccinate their young children may have several questions and concerns about the procedures and schedules. You will also want to make sure that there are no risks involved when it comes to immunisation. You may have heard that vaccines can cause long-term health issues. However, these claims are unfounded or based on faulty studies that have since been proved unscientific and inaccurate by medical and science professionals.

There is a lot of misinformation available online and parents need to be extremely careful when researching medical queries on the internet to make sure that they are not influenced by false claims. Finally, it is imperative to your child’s health and well-being that you always talk to your health care provider before making any medical decisions.

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