Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety

Good information practices for vaccine safety web sites

The World Wide Web is undoubtedly a mine of useful information on various topics. Unfortunately, and partly as a result of the absence of regulation, some of the information provided can be of dubious credibility and at times misleading. This is particularly true in the area of vaccine safety, on which a flurry of websites providing unbalanced and misleading information (including the purporting of unfounded rumours), has appeared. This can lead to undue fears, particularly among the general public.

In an effort to alleviate this problem, WHO has decided to assist readers of websites in identifying those sites providing information on vaccine safety that comply with good information practices. With this aim, GACVS has been asked to recommend a list of criteria that sites providing information on vaccine safety should adhere to.

The criteria in the list established following this request fall into four categories:

It is intended that the review by readers of the adherence of websites providing information on vaccine safety to the criteria in the list, particularly those relating to credibility and content, will help determine the trustworthiness of the site. In addition, organizations providing information on vaccine safety may wish to review to what extent their sites comply with such criteria and subsequently make enhancements where possible.


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Global Vaccine Safety
World Health Organization