Today on The PediaBlog, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages, Pediatric Alliance is helping the American Academy of Pediatrics kick off an eight-week interactive social media campaign designed to raise awareness of the importance of complete and on-time immunizations in children. On her terrific blog, Seattle Mama Doc, pediatrician Wendy Sue Swanson, M.D. explains the rationale for the AAP’s social media outreach:

We’ve been dealing with a perception problem for years when it comes to vaccines. This is in part because of media portrayals about controversy with vaccines, but it’s also because parents haven’t had the tools nor the call to action to be the ones in charge of ensuring a population is up-to-date on shots. Although we know 9 out of 10 parents immunize their children based on the AAP and CDC schedules, we also know the public often perceives that many more children aren’t getting vaccines. I’m haunted by the data published in Pediatrics in 2011 that found that more than 1 in 4 parents (28 percent) who followed the recommended schedule seemed to think those children whose parents who didn’t–who delayed vaccines or followed an alternative schedule–were safer. Not a single study finding a delayed or alternative schedule is safer, and yet here we are with many parents following our recommendations but not entirely trusting them. Yuck.

​That’s where parent-to-parent support and peer-to-peer health care comes in.


At least three times a week for the next eight weeks, Pediatric Alliance will post evidence-based content on vaccines on our Facebook page (@PediatricAlliance,, and on Twitter (@PedAlliance, The information and resources you see have been produced by the AAP (available online in their Immunization Social Media Toolkit), by Pediatric Alliance, and by our fellow pediatricians from around the country who are taking part in this project. Readers are encouraged to comment about what they are seeing, hearing, and, hopefully, learning from the content being posted. 

The AAP has developed a questionnaire to survey families and followers anonymously about the messages they viewed on social media. That survey will go out in eight weeks at the conclusion of the project. In the meantime, we hope our families will follow us and comment on what we are posting here on The PediaBlog as well as on Facebook and Twitter!


(Google Images)