There are a lot of great sites out in the world wide web that have information to help parents make an informed choice about vaccinations; however, unfortunately, there are also a lot of bogus sites that rely on anecdotes to promote myths, so I am including just a few links to help people find scientifically accurate information on vaccines.
My favorite book for vaccine information is “Vaccines and Your Child: Separating Fact from Fiction” by Paul Offit. It is short and covers all of the questions that parents frequently ask about immunizations.
The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has a wonderful Vaccine Education Center, which covers the same material as in Dr Offit’s book (above), as well as videos, FAQ pages, and more.
This is a great place to start if you want information on aluminum (which your child gets more of in breast milk than vaccines), formaldehyde (which our own bodies produce, and is also found naturally in things like pears), and other vaccine ingredients.
A great place to go once your child (or you) has gotten a vaccine and you have questions about it, or if you know of a specific vaccine that is coming up for your child, is the USA’s Center for Disease Control. They put out “Vaccine Information Statements” on each vaccine that is routinely given in the USA.
They are also the best site to check out what vaccines you need for foreign travel. Remember to check out the site and make an appointment at a travel clinic at least 6 months before traveling to areas which may have diseases that are not in your home country.
The USA government also has a general vaccination information site.
The USA also has a vaccine adverse events reporting system (VAERS), but it allows anyone to “report” anything they like without being the least bit accurate. Check out this great post on the subject.
If you want to see what happens when a child does NOT get vaccines, check out Shot By Shot’s videos.
If you are a visual learner and only have 5 minutes, check out this beautiful infographic on vaccines. If you have more than 5 minutes, Vaccinews’s blog is also a good site to learn more about vaccines.
A cute and very short blog post about the chicken pox vaccine. In addition to her wonderful points, I would add that you should give your child the varicella vaccine because you do not want your child to suffer from shingles when they’re older, as it is very painful and can cause disability. Shingles is caused by the varicella (chicken pox virus) living inside you. If you never get the chicken pox (disease), then you can not get shingles.
Here are some other good web sites:
This is just a small list, and I recommend that you discuss any concerns with your pediatrician. Also note that some people can not get certain (or any) vaccines, and therefore, rely on herd immunity (their community being vaccinated) to protect them.