Evaluating Online Health Information

There are so many websites out there with vaccine and other medical information, how do you know which ones to trust? You should feel pretty comfortable with government agencies, hospitals, universities, and other official websites, but it never hurts to check. Also, check our list of Trusted Sources of vaccine information.

What to Look For

The person or group that has published health information online should be easy to find somewhere on the page.

Government websites end in “.gov” and those ending with “.edu” are run by a university or other educational institution. These are sources that you can usually trust. If you see “.org” or “.com” at the end of a web address, it may still be a trusted site, but, check it closely to make sure.

You should be able to find this in the “About Us” section.

If the information was originally published in a research journal or a book, they should say which one so that you can find it.

Most health information publications have someone with medical or research credentials (e.g., someone who has earned an MD, DO, or PhD) review the information before it gets posted, to make sure it is correct. This information should be noted on the website.

Online health information sources should display a date when the information was posted or last reviewed.

This is very important. Do not share personal information until you understand the policies under which it will be used and you are comfortable with any risk involved in sharing your information online.

Source: National Cancer Institute from NIH


Reliable Sources of Immunization Information: Where Parents Can Go to Find Answers!

A list of websites, books, apps, videos, and who to contact.

Partner Resources

MedLine Plus logo
Evaluating Internet Health Information: A Tutorial From the National Library of Medicine

A tutorial from Medline Plus and the National Library of Medicine on how to evaluate the health information you find on the internet. They also offer PDF downloads of the tutorial and a one-page checklist.

WHO logo.
Vaccine Safety Net

The Vaccine Safety Net is a global network of websites that meet essential good information practices criteria by the World Health Organization. Use the search bar to search across all Vaccine Safety Net member websites from one place.

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