Health and Science News for Parents


written by Tara Haelle

If you spend even a little time browsing this blog, you’ll quickly discover that I write a lot about vaccines. I do so for a couple reasons. First, it’s an area I’m simply passionate about. Second, it’s perhaps the most fraught issue in parenting – it affects everyone one way or another, and it is more hotly debated than perhaps any other issue. Third, perhaps most importantly, there is a LOT of misinformation about vaccines online and even in the occasional doctor’s offices (as well as many chiropractors’, homeopaths’ and naturopaths’ offices). I’m not sure if there is any other issue in parenting with SO much misinformation out there, all more cleverly disguised as factual or reasonable-sounding information than the misinformation on any other topic. Yet, unlike (most) other topics, misinformation about vaccines has deadly consequences, without exaggeration.

For all those reasons (and probably others I’m not thinking of), I write a lot about vaccines, and my site has become a resource for many seeking answers about vaccines because I try to be very conscientious about linking to original studies and transparent about the known risks of vaccination. What I want to do here is create a resource page for new visitors. You can also view all of my vaccine-related journalism articles published at other outlets on this Vaccine Articles Off-Site page. If you have a specific question, I encourage you to ask at Facebook page The Vaccine Page, where I am an admin.

The Vaccine Schedule or Vaccines in General

YES. The CDC childhood immunization schedule is safe. For Reals.” discusses the best evidence we have to date on the safety of the CDC’s recommended schedule.

The “One Study,” or why the anti-vaccine movement doesn’t really understand science” is a guest post addressing why there is not “one study” showing that all vaccines are safe and effective.

An important study from New York leads to my own “vaccine story” about my son” discusses the impact of religious exemptions and my own story about vaccinating my son.

8 Reasons You Are Wrong About Not Vaccinating Your Daughter” is a guest post response to a similarly titled post online elsewhere that contains misinformation.

A look at the numbers in vaccine reactions” addresses the risk of adverse effects from vaccines.

Individual Vaccines

“Why the chickenpox vaccine?” addresses many of the questions about the chickenpox vaccine, including questions about shingles.

Making sense out of the baboon pertussis study” addresses questions about the weaknesses of the current whooping cough vaccines DTaP and Tdap, including questions about a “baboon study” you may have heard about.

Setting the record straight: Debunking ALL the flu vaccine myths” – just what it sounds like.

The real story on the flu vaccine during pregnancy” goes into more detail on the flu vaccine and pregnancy.

Safety of the Tdap in pregnancy and exploring the evidence for pertussis cocooning” explains why the Tdap is recommended during pregnancy and what its safety profile is.

The results are in on rotavirus vaccination and intussusception risk” clearly explains the risks of a specific adverse event from this live oral vaccine.

Vaccine Ingredients

Formaldehyde and “toxins” (be sure to read the linked Slate article, also written by me): “Formaldehyde, chemophobia, EWG and the MOST IMPORTANT THING to know about “toxic” stuff

Why a UN ban on thimerosal in vaccines would be a big mistake” has good information and links on thimerosal, the ethylmercury-containing preservative used in some flu vaccines.

General Vaccine Concepts and Questions

Herd Immunity: “The power of herd immunity seen with the rotavirus vaccine

Shedding: “Rotavirus vaccine shedding poses little risk

How vaccines work, how they fail, and why unvaccinated individuals pose a risk to vaccinated individuals (in the Washington Post): “Measles cases are spreading, despite high vaccination rates. What’s going on?

Other Worthwhile Articles, Blog Posts, Etc. by Others

Dear parents, you are being lied to

My older son gets the FluMist before flu season starts.

My older son gets the FluMist before flu season starts.

Shot@Life Join the Movement

Great Links

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