Voices for Vaccines is a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. Although the majority of parents choose to immunize their children against disease, most of us do not speak out about our decisions because it seems to us common sense. Unfortunately, increasing numbers of parents are choosing not to immunize or to under-immunize their children, which has led to increasing rates of vaccine-preventable diseases and needless suffering.
At Voices for Vaccines, our mission is to provide families three crucial tools:
- Evidence-based information about the safety and importance of immunization
- A vibrant community of parents who are passionate about preventing disease, disability, and death by supporting and encouraging sound vaccine policies and practices at both the state and national levels
- An opportunity to join the discussion and to actively advocate for on-time immunization
It may surprise the majority of parents who immunize their children that the loudest voices who claim to be speaking on their behalf in the vaccine discussion are those who are opposed to vaccination. We believe this has to change—and that change starts with parents who immunize adding their voices to this conversation. Voices for Vaccines is here to provide parents the opportunity to do that.
As a parent-driven organization supported by scientists, healthcare professionals, and public health officials, our goals are to offer parents reliable resources for evidence-based vaccine information, as well as to give parents who vaccinate a chance to speak up about their choice, to communicate with their legislators, and to act as resources for their peers.
At Voices for Vaccines, we know that parents have questions about vaccines—as parents ourselves, we had them, too. But we also know that it’s hard to separate fact from fiction, and that this conundrum is starting to have grave consequences on the health of our children and our communities.
We always speak candidly about the risks and benefits of immunization and sustain our positions with the most reliable scientific findings. Vaccine information appearing on this site has been vetted by physicians and scientists, including those on the Voices for Vaccines Scientific Advisory Board.
Some describe the success of the anti-vaccine movement as success built on better storytelling. At Voices for Vaccines, we take that to heart. That’s because we know, as parents, that one of the most persuasive means of communication among parents is not always the research paper. It’s not the newspaper. Sometimes, sadly, it’s not even the healthcare provider. Instead, it is the story shared between parents. It’s how we learn to soothe a fussy baby. It’s how we learn which baby bottles work best, what kind of diapers to use, which daycare centers or preschools to try. It’s often how we choose our child’s healthcare provider.
At Voices for Vaccines, we believe it’s time for parents who vaccinate to begin sharing their stories and telling the world why they choose to protect their children from vaccine-preventable diseases. The Voices for Vaccines blog, Parents Who Vax, provides parents who have chosen to vaccinate their children an opportunity to talk about their decisions to do so. Your story could change a parent’s mind—and save a child’s life.
VFV wants to reach as many parents as possible. It is for this reason that we utilize multiple media formats, including social media, offer free downloadable “toolkits” on a variety of topics, organize campaigns to demonstrate the widespread support of vaccines, and offer regular newsletters and conference calls to support every parent’s decision to immunize.
To allay concerns about conflicts of interest, Voices For Vaccines does not accept donations from vaccine companies or the federal government.
Who We Are
The most important members of Voices for Vaccines are parents who support immunization.
Scientific Advisory Board
Voices for Vaccines relies on its Scientific Advisory Board to ensure the vaccine information on this site is accurate and up-to-date. The members of the Scientific Advisory Board are:
- Alan R. Hinman, MD, MPH, Director for Programs, Center for Vaccine Equity at the Task Force for Global Health
- Paul A. Offit, MD, Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases and Director, Vaccine Education Center, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia; Professor of Pediatrics and Maurice R. Hilleman Professor of Vaccinology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
- Stanley A. Plotkin, MD, Emeritus Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania; Emeritus Professor at Wistar Institute; Former Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
- Deborah L. Wexler, MD, Founder and Executive Director, Immunization Action Coalition
- William Schaffner, MD, Professor of Preventive Medicine in the Department of Health Policy and Professor of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine; Past President of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
- Julie Boom, MD, Director of Infant and Childhood Immunization for the Center for Vaccine Awareness and Research and Director of the Immunization Project at Texas Children’s Hospital; Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Baylor College of Medicine
- Rachel Cunningham, MPH, Immunization Registry and Educational Specialist at Texas Children’s Hospital
Medical information on this website has been reviewed by members of the Scientific Advisory Board.
Voices for Vaccines was re-launched in early 2013 after two young parents, Karen Ernst and Ashley Shelby, volunteered to lead the organization in rallying parents of immunized children to combat vaccine misinformation and increase immunization rates In 2010, Shelby and Ernst founded the blog Moms Who Vax, which offers resources on vaccine information, commentary, and first-person stories from parents who immunize. They are currently working to develop a new organization, the Minnesota Childhood Immunization Coalition.