Vaccines and the internet

David M. Berman, Paola Dees

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


The communication of vaccine information has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Historically, the public received most vaccine information through printed text, television, and radio. However, the Internet has now revolutionized health care communication. Every year, there are a growing number of Internet users. Whereas one-way communication was the standard in the past, the Internet has allowed for interactive communication, access at anytime, from virtually any location in the world. There are different reasons for why individuals seek vaccine information from the Internet. The Web has become a powerful tool for individuals and groups that propagate vaccine misinformation, promoting myths that have been debunked, and creating new ones. This chapter reviews the motives and tactics used by vaccine critics including: vaccine-critical Web sites, social media (including blogs), video and exploration of the self-proclaimed experts (individuals that use the Internet to convey their vaccine-critical messages). Additionally, the chapter explores the struggle of vaccine advocates combating poor-quality information and approaches that are needed to address vaccine-critical information on the Internet. Lastly, the chapter highlights a list of reliable vaccine Web sites, methods to assist families with search engine use, and the required content a user should expect to see if a vaccine site is considered reliable.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVaccinophobia and Vaccine Controversies of the 21st Century
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781461474388
ISBN (Print)146147437X, 9781461474371
StatePublished - Nov 1 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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