New Delhi : The WHO has warned about emergence of several websites providing “misleading” information about vaccines and asked people to rely only on a network of trusted portals approved by it.
In recent years a number of websites providing “unbalanced, misleading, and alarming” vaccine safety information have been established, prompting fear, the WHO said.
“Every day, misinformation about vaccines continue to proliferate on the Internet. This is dangerous. We need to make sure that all parents, caregivers and health care professionals can easily access accurate and trustworthy information about vaccines,” Vaccine Safety Net (VSN) coordinator at WHO, Isabelle Sahinovic, said.
VSN, a global network of vaccine safety portals which aims to provide credible vaccine safety information, has 47 member websites in 12 languages, including one of Indian Academy of Paediatrics’ (IAP) Advisory Committee On Vaccines and Immunisation Practices (ACVIP).
It is also expanding its evaluation criteria to cover social media. It is currently piloting the process for reviewing Facebook pages so that trustworthy vaccine safety messages reach diverse audiences, the WHO said.
The global health body said every month around 173 million users access VSN websites that contain, among other information, credible vaccine safety information.
IAP is the largest organisation of pediatricians in India and ACVIP is the official committee that looks after all issues pertaining to paediatric and adolescent immunisation in the country.
“The WHO has norms on which the accreditation is done. We fulfilled all their criteria and have been accredited to the network,” Vipin Vashishtha, convener of IPA’s ACVIP told .
WHO evaluates websites using criteria defined by the Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.