For Parents

Guide to Internet and Hotline Resources

Health Professional Associations

  • American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
    The AAFP’s “Family Doctor” site allows users to search AAFP’s collection of health topics, including information on the immune system, vaccines, and vaccine-preventable diseases. This site also includes a directory in Spanish.
  • American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
      This site includes AAP policy statements (stored alphabetically for easy searching) that summarize AAP positions on various issues, including immunization issues. Sub-sections of the site of particular interest and value for those seeking information on immunization are shown below.
      AAP Members Only Channel. The AAP member’s site contains detailed, clinical information for use by practitioners. It also contains speaking points and AAP member alerts on hot immunization topics in the news. In addition, AAP members will be automatically subscribed to the Members Only LISTSERV® e-mail list when registering for the AAP Members Only Channel.
      This page contains a compendium of immunization resources, as well as videos, photographs, brochures, and fact sheets on immunization. The site also offers a list of state immunization program managers and the current immunization schedule.
  • American Association of Immunologists (AAI)
      The “Middle and High School Teaching Materials” page contains lessons and projects that teachers and health care providers can use to teach immunology topics.
      This page, entitled “Educating the Public,” has articles with advice for teachers and health care providers on teaching immunology topics.
  • American College Health Association (ACHA)
    The ACHA site outlines guidelines on meningococcal vaccine use in college settings, in addition to other vaccine entry requirements for incoming college students.
  • American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist (ACOG)
    This site contains publications that address immunization issues.
  • American College of Physicians
    American Society of Internal Medicine (ACP-ASIM)
    ACP-ASIM’s Adult Immunization Initiative is a new project that is developing resources and tools to support members in their immunization efforts. The page now provides links to the archived “Immunization Booster” sections from the ACP-ASIM monthly newsletter, as well as immunization news.
  • American Medical Association (AMA)
    This section of the AMA site entitled “Resources on Infectious Disease” has feature articles on current infectious disease and immunization issues, and links to recently published journal articles. The page also provides general information on various topics related to infectious disease, including descriptions of AMA positions and lists of additional resources. Visitors can find specific immunization information in the “Vaccination Resources” section.
  • American Nurses Association (ANA)
      On this page, the ANA offers information on childhood immunization from its continuing education program. The program’s objectives are to describe the history of childhood vaccinations in the United States; list current Advisory Committee for Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations for childhood immunizations; identify barriers to childhood immunizations; discuss interventions to eliminate barriers; and identify contraindications to childhood immunization delivery.
      The ANA’s position statement on adult immunization can be found on this page.
      The ANA’s position statement on child immunization can be found on this page.
  • American Pharmaceutical Association (APhA)
    The APhA “Immunization Information” page discusses current immunization issues, such as vaccine shortages and immunization reimbursement, from a pharmacist’s perspective. The site provides immunization guidelines for pharmacists, and training information for pharmacists who wish to give immunizations. The site provides access to listserv reports, presentations, and other resources.
  • Association of Teachers of Preventative Medicine (ATPM)
    The ATPM site offers information on teaching the principles of immunization, and curricular materials for both doctors and nurses. The site’s “Training” section lists continuing medical education (CME) opportunities in immunization when they are available.
  • Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA)
    This site provides a wealth of information on infectious disease topics, including practice guidelines and information about IDSA’s networks on emerging infectious diseases and HIV/AIDS. Links are provided to publications such as IDSA’s Journal of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Infectious Diseases, CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, and the World Health Organization’s Weekly Epidemiological Record.
  • National Association of Pediatric Nurse Associates and Practitioners (NAPNAP)
    This page offers NAPNAP’s position statement on immunization.
  • National Medical Association (NMA)
    This site covers materials and programs designed to assist in discussing immunization with African-American audiences. Access these materials by clicking on “Immunization” under the “National Programs” tab that appears at the top of the main page.
  • Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM),
    Group on Immunization Education (GIE)
    This site designed for family medicine educators provides immunization standards, news, reports, and downloadable slide presentations. The site also links to current immunization schedules, photographs of vaccine-preventable diseases, and other sources of immunization information.

Non-Profit Groups and Universities

  • Albert B. Sabin Vaccine Institute
    The Sabin Institute site explains vaccine science, answering questions such as “What is a vaccine?” and “How does it work?” and describing new vaccine initiatives. The site has an archived list of Sabin Vaccine Report articles that cover a wide variety of immunization topics.
  • All Kids Count
    This Web site provides information on immunization registries and their development. All Kids Count presents a basic explanation of registries and discusses related issues, such as privacy and funding. The site offers publications and online resources related to implementing registries, and links to other online immunization information sources.
  • Allied Vaccine Group (AVG)
    This site includes a group of Web sites dedicated to providing reliable information on vaccines and vaccinations. The site also provides vaccine and vaccination news.
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Children’s Vaccine Program
    The Children’s Vaccine Program works to ensure that all children in the developing world receive the full benefits of vaccines without undue delay. This site provides both brief and in-depth fact sheets on vaccine-preventable diseases, links to other credible organizations, and lists of upcoming conferences and meetings on vaccine issues.
  • Every Child By Two (ECBT)
    This site contains much information about the Every Child by Two early immunization campaign itself, but also has information for providers and content helpful to parents. This content includes a newsletter with current information on immunization issues, and an electronic version of CDC’s Parents Guide to Immunization, which discusses individual vaccines and topics such as keeping immunization records.
  • Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI)
    This site offers background materials on vaccines and vaccine research, worldwide immunization news, and information on GAVI grants to developing countries.
  • Health on the Net Foundation (HON)
    The Health on the Net (HON) Foundation site outlines a set of guidelines for evaluating and posting health information online. Sites which undergo the HON certification process are entitled to use the HON seal, showing that they abide by these guidelines. The site allows users to check whether a given Web site is HON-certified, and also contains an interactive questionnaire to help users gauge the credibility of information on sites that are not HON-certified. In addition, the site contains search engines designed to retrieve medical information, videos and photos of diseases and medical procedures, lists of health care conferences, and background on select health topics.
  • National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB)
    This page presents a series of questions and answers on immunization topics, including which vaccines should be administered prior to age two, the importance of vaccination health records, and where to obtain free vaccinations. HMHB also provides links to other immunization resources on the Web.
  • History of Vaccines (The College of Physicians of Philadelphia)
    This site provides a chronicle of the history of vaccination, from pre-Jennerian variolation practices, to the defeat of polio in the Western Hemisphere, to cutting-edge approaches to novel vaccines and vaccine delivery. The site aims to increase public knowledge and understanding of the ways in which vaccines, toxoids, and passive immunization work, how they have been developed, and the role they have played in the improvement of human health. The site also discusses some of the controversies about vaccination and some of the challenges, difficulties, and tragic events that have occurred in the use of vaccines.
    Much of the historical material that appears on The History of Vaccines comes from The College’s Historical Medical Library and its wealth of rare books, medical journals, manuscripts, and archives.
  • Immunization Action Coalition (IAC)
    This site is most suited for health professionals, but many aspects of it will be informative for parents. For example, it includes sections that summarize the effects of vaccine-preventable diseases, including personal accounts of people who have been affected by them. Visitors can view photos of people with vaccine-preventable diseases and review state immunization mandates. A listserv called IAC Express is available on the site, which provides regular notices about current immunization topics. In addition, the site provides CDC’s Vaccine Information Statements in 26 languages, including English.
  • Institute for Vaccine Safety
    Johns Hopkins University (IVS)
    This Web site was established as a forum to disseminate information and commentary on vaccine safety issues. Updates on current issues related to immunization are posted. The site includes information on vaccines and the diseases they prevent, a table that summarizes the thimerosal content in some vaccines, and links to other Web sites which offer information on relevant issues.
  • Institute of Medicine (IOM)
    The Immunization Safety Review Committee (ISR) was a project within the Institute of Medicine that addressed current and emerging vaccine-safety concerns. The committee provided independent, non-biased advice to vaccine policy-makers, as well as practitioners and the public.
  • Medem
    Medem is a partnership of almost 40 medical societies to present comprehensive and trusted health information on the Internet. The Medem site features a medical library of health information, including information on infectious diseases and immunization.
  • National Alliance for Hispanic Health
    This site offers publications in English and Spanish, designed for a general audience, which give background information and explain why adults and adolescents should receive immunizations. Other immunization resources in Spanish and English, such as videos and booklets, are available for sale. To find these resources click on “Publications” and then on “Vacunas (Immunizations)”.
  • National Foundation for Infectious Diseases’ (NFID)
    National Coalition for Adult Immunization (NCAI)
    This site focuses on immunization issues for adults. Numerous fact sheets are available, including general vaccine topics and specific information about each available vaccine as it relates to adults. Adult and adolescent immunization schedules are shown.
  • National Network for Immunization Information (NNii)
    The NNii Web site is designed to provide health care professionals, the media, policy makers, and the public with up-to-date, science-based information on immunizations. The site features a searchable database of information on diseases prevented through immunization, a listing of all state vaccination requirements, and thrice-weekly Immunization Newsbriefs, which highlight vaccine issues in the news. It also includes background on vaccine development and vaccine safety, guidelines for how to evaluate health information on the Internet, and an image gallery of the effects of vaccine-preventable diseases. The NNii Resource Kit, Communicating With Patients About Immunization, is also available here in downloadable PDF format.
  • National Partnership for Immunization (NPI)
    NPI is a joint program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition and the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases. Its Web site provides both general background information and links to additional resources on a wide range of immunization topics, including individual vaccines, vaccine safety, registries, immunization schedules and special requirements. NPI’s listserv VAXfacts is available on the site and provides monthly immunization news updates. The NPI Reference Guide on Vaccines and Vaccine Safety and the National Immunization Awareness Month Promotional Kit are also available in a downloadable PDF format.
  • Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases (PKIDS)
    This site pulls together a variety of immunization information, ranging from official statements and congressional testimony to letters in support of immunization from celebrities. The “Immunization” section also includes articles, Q & A, hepatitis B posters in many languages, U.S. state immunization rates by percentage, information on vaccine storage and handling, and links to other sources. The site also offers an “Ask the Experts” feature that allows users to e-mail immunization questions to five experts.
  • The Brighton Collaboration
    The Brighton Collaboration is an independent international voluntary collaboration to facilitate the development, evaluation, and dissemination of high quality information about the safety of human vaccines. The current focus is the development of globally accepted and standardized case definitions of adverse events following immunization (AEFI). Case definitions for AEFI are accompanied by guidelines for standardized collection, analysis, and presentation of vaccine safety data. Case definitions and guidelines are developed in working groups of the Collaboration. These groups are composed of volunteering professionals coming from relevant academic, clinical care, public health, pharmaceutical and regulatory backgrounds. Finalized case definitions and guidelines are disseminated for global use in both pre- and post-licensure trials and in post-marketing surveillance. The use of case definitions and guidelines will facilitate sharing and comparison of vaccine data among vaccine safety professionals. The Collaboration was officially launched in autumn 2000. It now includes about 600 profesionals from 60 countries.
  • The Vaccine Page
    This site functions largely as a hub, connecting visitors to many other sites, including sites for parents and practitioners. The Vaccine Page links to medical journal sites and the sites of associations and advocacy groups, as well as to vaccine and immunization-related issues that appear on wire services. (Note: While the Vaccine Page provides access to sites with scientifically accurate information, some links contain on-line “chat rooms” where parents may encounter information that is not based on the best available science.)
  • Tufts University Child & Family WebGuide
    The WebGuide has worked with a group of faculty from a number of universities to create an evaluation instrument for information about children on the internet. The site is divided in various categories of information: family/parenting, education/learning, typical child development, health/mental health, resources/recreation and medical pages, which includes a section on immunization information.
  • Vaccine Education Center at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
    This site aims to provide complete, up-to-date, and reliable information about vaccines to parents and health care professionals. It includes information on how vaccines work, how they are made, who recommends vaccines, when they should be given, why they are still necessary, and how vaccine safety is maintained. It includes extensive background on every major vaccine and the disease or diseases it prevents. Additionally, educational materials, including informational tear sheets and a video entitled “Vaccines: Separating Fact from Fear” can be ordered. Health care professionals can request a small number of these items without cost. A new resource, called Parents PACK is also available and includes a monthly newsletter, FAQs, vaccine scheduling information, tips for maintaining immunization records, data on age-specific vaccine needs and issues, and an email address to which you can direct questions and suggestions.
  • Vaccines for Africa
    Administered by the University of Cape Town’s Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine    (IIDMM), this initiative is a partnership with concerned individuals and organisations to increase awareness and promote uptake of vaccines on the African continent. The VACFA site is intended to be an interactive forum for the exchange of accurate, up-to-date and evidence-based information on vaccines and immunisation practices relevant to Africa, and to be a strategic resource for health professionals, policy-makers, programme managers, and the general public.

Disease-Specific Information

  • American Lyme Disease Foundation (ALDF)
    The ALDF site presents general background information on the Lyme disease vaccine, Lyme disease news, and links to additional information.
  • Hepatitis B Foundation (HBF)
    This site provides fact sheets on risk factors for hepatitis B transmission and information on the hepatitis B vaccine.
  • Hepatitis Foundation International (HFI)
    This site provides information on hepatitis A, B, and C, including the hepatitis A and B vaccines.
  • Hepatitis Foundation International Hotline
    HFI also offers a toll-free number to call for answers to further questions on hepatitis, 1-800-891-0707.
  • Meningitis Foundation of America (MFA)
    MFA describes the different varieties of meningitis, provides answers to frequently asked questions, and posts articles and reports. Information on the meningococcal, pneumococcal, and Hib vaccines, and a description of new vaccines against meningitis on the horizon, appear under “Prevention.” (Note: MFA provides an on-line “chat room” where parents may encounter information that is not based on the best available science.)
  • Varicella-Zoster Virus Research Foundation (VZVRF)
    This site addresses questions pertaining to varicella-zoster virus infections, including chickenpox, shingles, and post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). It also discusses the chickenpox vaccine.

Government Organizations

  • Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO)
    This site provides information about individual state immunization programs and contact information for state health departments.
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
      From CDC’s home page, visitors can search health issues using an alphabetical menu. Sub-sections of the site of particular interest and value for those seeking information on immunization are shown below.
      This site allows users to search for and view images on vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases. Images include photographs of infected individuals, infectious disease-causing bacteria or viruses, and historical immunization scenes. The Library also has slides with infectious disease information for use in presentations.
      This site features immunization updates for travelers. It also links to a database that users can search to find immunization and other health recommendations for specific areas of the world.
  • National Center for Infectious Diseases (NCID)
    This site provides in depth information on infectious diseases, including vaccine-preventable infectious diseases, through the site’s searchable “Infectious Disease Index.” The site also links to an online hepatitis C training for health care providers.
  • National Immunization Program (NIP)
      NIP’s home page features publications that answer the question “Why Immunize?” as well as links to important immunization topics in the news.
      This section of NIP’s site features publications and fact sheets designed for the public on many issues such as “6 Misconceptions about Vaccination” and answers to frequently asked questions. Also provided are the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and downloadable Vaccine Information Statements (VISs). (To order VISs by phone, call CDC’s Immunization Information Hotline at 1-800-232-2522.)
      This section of NIP’s site focuses on vaccine safety and provides information on current vaccine-related issues, a glossary, an explanation of the risks of diseases as compared to immunization risks, and instructions for reporting an adverse vaccine reaction to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS).
  • National Vaccine Program Office (NVPO)
    This site is posted by the federal National Vaccine Program Office, which was created to bring together all of the groups that have key roles in immunization, including federal, state, and local agencies, the public, health care providers, and private-sector entities such as vaccine manufacturers. The site provides basic information about immunization concepts (like how the immune system works). It also provides “Ten Tips for Evaluating Information on the Internet,” and includes links to other organizations that provide vaccine information.
  • CDC International Traveler’s Line
    The CDC International Traveler’s Line, 1-877-FYI-TRIP or 1-877-394-8747, answers questions on travel health issues.
  • CDC National Immunization Information Hotline
    For those without Internet access or those who would like to speak with someone in person, CDC’s National Immunization Information Hotline can be reached at 1-800-232-2522 (for Spanish speakers, the number is 1-800-232-0233).
    This site features a search engine that allows users to enter “vaccine” or specific diseases to find descriptions of current vaccine studies underway.
  • Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA)
    Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (CBER)
      FDA’s CBER home page features links to current vaccine information, including vaccine recalls. Some information ranges beyond vaccines, so two subsections of the site especially suited to those seeking vaccine information are shown below.
      This article addresses topics including clinical trials, advisory committees, licensure, and continuing studies.
  • Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS)
    This portion of the FDA’s site answers questions about what the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) is, why it exists, how it works, and what can and cannot be inferred from VAERS data. Links for general immunization information (e.g., CDC’s NIP) and information on vaccine safety (e.g., FDA, AAP) are included. To report an adverse event, call 1-800-822-7967.
  • FDA Consumer Information Hotline
    CBER maintains a consumer information hotline to answer questions about vaccine safety and regulations, 1-800-835-4709.
  • Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA)
    National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)
    HRSA’s site on the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) explains what the VICP is, how it was created, and how to file a claim. In addition, the site offers a summary of current issues, answers to frequently asked questions, a monthly statistics report, and other information.
  • National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Public Information Line
    For information about the VICP health professionals and their patients can call the public information line at 1-800-338-2382.
  • Medlineplus
    This Medlineplus site is a compilation of government and other immunization resources on childhood immunizations. The site includes some articles in Spanish.
  • National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
    This NIAID page provides fact sheets on vaccines and the immune system. The page also offers updates on vaccine research and vaccine safety, including The Jordan Report, an annual report on the state of vaccine research.
  • Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)
    The PAHO “Vaccines and Immunization” page offers background information and fact sheets on immunization, presented with an international perspective. Some articles are only available in Spanish.
  • U.S. Military Immunization Information Source
    This site contains current immunization program information for the U.S. Department of Defense and the Military Services.
  • World Health Organization (WHO) Immunization Safety & Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety
    This site’s section on vaccine safety educates visitors on current immunization issues and how vaccines are developed and distributed. It displays immunization statistics, maps, and charts. The site also describes the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI). WHO’s perspective is global and site contents also are available in Spanish and French.