Skip all navigation Skip to page navigation

DHHS Home | A-Z Site Map | Divisions | About Us | Contacts |

NC Department of Health and Human Services
Women's and Children's Health Home
N.C. Public Health Home

Vaccine Safety

On-time vaccinations protect people by providing immunity before they are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases. The nation’s long-standing vaccine safety system ensures that U.S. vaccines are the safest in the world. Since the first vaccines were developed in the 18th century, millions of lives have been saved and countless people protected from unnecessary disease, disability, and disfigurement.

With so much information available today about vaccines, you may wonder, “How do I know vaccines are safe?” Learning the facts before making health decisions for yourself or your family is very important.

The resources below provide accurate information about vaccines and how they work, give balanced information on the benefits and risks of immunization to help you make informed decisions, and discuss their safety and effectiveness. Your healthcare provider is always the most trusted source of information about immunizations:

Finding Credible Vaccine Information on the Web

Some websites provide unbalanced, misleading, and alarming information about vaccines, leading to fears about vaccine safety and doubts about vaccine effectiveness. Before considering vaccine information on the Internet, check that the information comes from a credible source and is updated on a regular basis. Here are some sources of credible vaccine information:

  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). CDC’s immunization web content are researched, written, and approved by health professionals and researchers. Content is based on science and the site is frequently updated. Most pages are reviewed yearly.
  • Vaccine Safety Net (VSN). The VSN is a global network of websites, established by the World Health Organization, that provides reliable information on vaccine safety. If you are getting vaccine information from a website, check to see if the site is listed on the Vaccine Safety Net.
  • was developed by the American Academy of Pediatrics. It provides up-to-date and accurate information for families about immunizations.
  • Immunization Action Coalition. The Immunization Action Coalition is a national leader in immunization education. It provides timely, accurate, and information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.
  • The Vaccine Education Center. at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia provides complete, up-to-date and reliable information about vaccines to parents and healthcare professionals. The Center seeks to dispel some of the common misconceptions and misinformation surrounding vaccines.

Evaluating Online Immunization Information

If you are looking online for vaccine information and wonder if the sites are credible, consider guidance from these sources:

While the Internet is a useful tool for researching immunization information, it should not replace a discussion with your trusted healthcare professional.