Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
March 2019

Families and vaccines: Figuring it out when opinions differ

vaccine education center march 2019A multi-state measles outbreak is due in part to declines in vaccination with the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine. While most parents choose to vaccinate their children, pockets of unimmunized people provide opportunities for diseases to gain a foothold in otherwise vaccinated communities.

Those groups of unimmunized people can often lead to some difficult conversations among family and friends. Often people contact us looking not only for reliable information but also for guidance related to keeping vaccine-preventable diseases from harming their unvaccinated family members, or for guidance when having conversations with those in their family concerned about vaccine safety.

Find tips and suggestions on how to talk about vaccines when you disagree with a relative.

News & Notes

Pinterest, YouTube, Amazon, and Facebook address vaccine-related messaging

As a result of reports that the current measles outbreak is due in part to declines in vaccination rates, some social media platforms have been blamed for their role in the spread of misinformation related to vaccines. In response, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, and Amazon have recently changed their policies: 

  • Pinterest stopped providing results for searches containing terms like vaccine, vaccination or other similar words.
  • YouTube removed paid advertisements from videos promoting anti-vaccine rhetoric, claiming the ads monetized videos with “dangerous and harmful content.”
  • Facebook announced it will no longer allow anti-vaccine posts to spread on its platform. The decision is part of a larger move by the company to stop the distribution of health-related misinformation via its social networking site.
  • Amazon has started removing anti-vaccine documentaries from its Amazon Prime video streaming service

You can find accurate information about vaccines on the VEC Pinterest and YouTube channels.

Measles, influenza outbreak resources available on VEC homepage

In light of the ongoing measles outbreaks and widespread influenza, the VEC’s homepage, at, now includes an easy way to find our relevant materials.

Check out the story and the links today.  

New paper by Dr. Offit, colleagues identifies people's reasons for vaccine concerns

In a paper co-authored by VEC Director Dr. Paul Offit and colleagues, and published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, the authors discuss some of the current vaccine safety controversies in the U.S. — and the science behind them.

Latest CDC video shows how infants' immune systems work

In the latest installment of the CDC video series, How Vaccines Work, viewers learn about how a baby’s immune system functions and how vaccines support the immune system to promote health and wellness.

Just the Vax Trivia Corner

Two NCAA basketball teams during the 1988-89 season played multiple games without any spectators due to an outbreak of what vaccine-preventable disease?

  1. Influenza
  2. Haemophilus influenzae type b
  3. Measles
  4. Pertussis
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