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Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
June 2020

Bad Studies: Yes, They Exist. How Can You Identify Them?


Video: Bad studies - Parents PACK newsletter June 2020Thousands of scientific journal articles, covering a myriad of topics, are published every day. And, because of the 24/7 news cycle, often new studies are reported by the media. Unfortunately, this means sometimes weak studies are reported, so how can you tell which studies are done well and which are not?

Research reported by the media needs two levels of consideration:

  1. How good was the study itself?
  2. How good is the news report about the study?

Indeed, getting information about scientific studies through the media is an imperfect filter. It means, we are relying on journalists to assess the quality of the study and accurately and comprehensively report the information that we need to know about the study.

The Vaccine Education Center offers two resources to help you navigate these separate, yet related, issues:

  1. Bad Studies: Yes, They Exist. How Can You Identify Them? – In this new Science Made Easy video, Dr. Offit talks about how to evaluate scientific studies using the two pillars of science — peer review and reproducibility.
  2. Evaluating Information: What You Should Know – This printable Q&A provides tips for assessing media reports and scientific studies. It also offers tips for assessing websites.

News & Notes


Vaccine app wins awards

In the fall of 2019, the Vaccine Education Center relaunched the popular mobile app, Vaccines on the Go: What You Should Know. The refreshed app was recently recognized by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts (AIVA) and the PRNEWS Digital Awards. AIVA recognized the app as an “Award of Distinction” winner during the 26th Annual Communicator Awards, given to organizations who have exceeded industry standards in quality and achievement. The PRNEWS Digital Awards, which recognizes innovation in digital communication, recognized the app with an honorable mention in the mobile app category. 

If you have not yet downloaded the free, updated — and, now, award-winning app — check it out or do so today: 

New video series and biography page features Dr. Fauci

Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and a leading voice during the coronavirus pandemic, was interviewed during the creation of the documentary, HILLEMAN: A Perilous Quest to Save the World’s Children. Recently, the Vaccine Makers Project (VMP) shared some new clips from the interview. Check out the videos in which Dr. Fauci discusses:

The videos are also available on a new biographical page about Dr. Fauci on the Hilleman Film website.

Check out other videos and animations on the Vaccine Makers Project (VMP) YouTube page, or subscribe to get notifications when new videos are added.

Dads need vaccines too

As you pick the perfect card for Father’s Day and write your wishes for health and happiness, remember to also check if the dads in your life are up to date on their immunizations. Often adults don’t realize they, too, need vaccines. Adults can be protected against diseases, such as shingles, tetanus, pertussis (whooping cough), pneumococcus and hepatitis A, among others. The VEC recently updated the booklet, Vaccines and Adults: A Lifetime of Health.

Download the booklet today in English or Spanish and share it with the dads, and other adults, in your life.

Just the Vax Trivia Corner

Which disease is known to be more commonly spread from adults to children?   

  1. Varicella (Chickenpox)
  2. Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  3. Measles
  4. Rubella
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