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Do you go online for your health-related questions? You are not alone! More and more people are using the Internet to gather medical information. Lately, there has been debate about the safety of vaccines in online media. Vaccines protect us from infectious diseases and save millions of lives every year. Vaccination during pregnancy protects newborn babies as well. But how does online media influence a pregnant woman’s opinion about vaccination?

Here, we examined the online media about two maternal vaccinations: whooping cough (pertussis), and the flu (influenza).  The majority of the articles supported both vaccines. Most pertussis articles used real-life cases and focused on protecting the baby. The influenza articles focused on protecting the mother, or both the mother and the baby. Then, we surveyed pregnant women and health care providers. Their opinions were similar to those expressed in the articles. Our results may explain why more women are receiving pertussis vaccine compared to influenza.

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About this article

Reading level
Scientific topic
Key words
NGSS standards
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Scientific methods
Type of figure
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
April 2019

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