The Media’s Role in Vaccine Misinformation


Prominent vaccine advocate Dr. Paul Offit aptly summarized the relationship between the press and modern vaccinophobia by stating, “the news media are, at best, an imperfect window to the truth about vaccines” (Offit, Expert Rev Vaccines 2(1):1–3, 2003). The goal of this chapter is to review the media’s role in vaccine controversies of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century by highlighting specific examples in which the media was directly responsible for propagating misinformation on the safety of vaccines. Tangible solutions to guide responsible dissemination of public health information are proposed in an effort to avoid other similar crises in the future.


Human Papilloma Virus News Story Vaccine Safety Human Papilloma Virus Vaccine Vaccine Preventable Disease 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Hospital MedicineAll Children’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins MedicineSt PetersburgUSA
  2. 2.Division of Pediatric Infectious DiseasesAll Children’s Hospital, Johns Hopkins MedicineSt PetersburgUSA

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