Nurse giving boy a shot

Addressing Parents' Concerns about Vaccines

Originally broadcast March 9, 2011

Gary S. Marshall, M.D. 
Professor of Pediatrics
University of Louisville School of Medicine
Louisville Kentucky

Despite unprecedented success in the elimination and control of infectious diseases through vaccination, practitioners find themselves challenged to justify universal vaccine programs to parents. As diseases have disappeared from the public's eye, adverse events related to vaccines have taken on more importance.

Many parents, fearing that vaccines are dangerous or unnecessary, are refusing to have their children vaccinated, or are demanding tailor-made schedules and prioritization of vaccinations.


  • Explain the importance of immunizations in public health
  • Describe the concepts of “Antivaccinationism,” including origins, characteristic claims, and methods for dissemination of misinformation
  • Describe ten truths about vaccines and immunization programs
  • Describe examples of heuristic (speculative) thinking about vaccination and strategies to address this