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LETTER TO EDITOR
J Res Med Sci 2017,  22:78

World Health Organization validated websites provide reliable information on vaccine safety


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication21-Jun-2017

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jrms.JRMS_237_17

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. World Health Organization validated websites provide reliable information on vaccine safety. J Res Med Sci 2017;22:78

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. World Health Organization validated websites provide reliable information on vaccine safety. J Res Med Sci [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Jan 19];22:78. Available from: http://www.jmsjournal.net/text.asp?2017/22/1/78/208738

Sir,

In the modern era, whenever people are in need of information about any field, whether it is education, career, health or something else, they often resort to the Internet as their first option.[1] Same stands true when parents and caretakers look for reliable information on vaccines and their safety for their children.[1] However, it is quite difficult to locate reliable information about the vaccines on most of the websites, as they often provide false or misleading facts, which can very well raise concerns of fear among different sections of the general population.[1],[2]

Even though, it is a fact that immunization is one of the most cost-effective tools to promote and sustain health and well-being, time and again the utility of vaccines has been questioned.[2] In addition to that every day, some form of wrong information regarding vaccines keeps coming on the internet, which is extremely dangerous.[1] This is predominantly because of the reality that none of the public health initiatives can be successful without active community participation, and such easily accessible wrong information is harmful to all the stakeholders.[1],[2] In short, it is our utmost responsibility that all parents, caretakers, and even the health-care staff can readily access precise and correct information about vaccines.[1]

Acknowledging the need to respond to the existing challenges, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children's Fund, and some of the nongovernmental organizations initiated a global network of websites under the name Vaccine Safety Net.[3] The basic aim of the network is to provide consistent, explicable, and evidence-based information about vaccine safety on the internet for people, irrespective of their language or location.[3] In addition, it aims to work together at the global level to improve awareness regarding vaccines and minimize vaccine hesitancy.[3] The network comprises a varied group of websites or social media located in different nations, which are included in the website after the comprehensive assessment of these sites based on 34 criteria.[1],[3] In fact, in today's date, the network has 47 member websites in 12 different languages.[3] Simultaneously, these websites can play a crucial role in addressing the existing myths.[1],[3]

To conclude, considering the fact that getting immunized with a vaccine can be a difference between life and death, it is quite essential that we provide people with the reliable information on vaccination safety, especially through Internet, as it is the most preferred source of option accessed by people in the current era. This will neutralize all incidents of vaccine hesitancy and even will clear prevailing myths pertaining to the vaccine.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Check the Source: WHO-Validated Websites Provide Trustworthy Information on Vaccine Safety; 2017. Available from: http://www.who.int/features/2017/vaccine-safety-website/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Mar 08].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. WHO and UNICEF: Updates on immunization coverage and how can we improve upon? J Res Med Sci 2015;20:1216-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
3.
Vaccine Safety Net. Vaccine Safety Net; 2017. Available from: http://www.vaccinesafetynet.org/vsn/vaccine-safety-net. [Last accessed on 2017 Mar 08].  Back to cited text no. 3
    




 

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