h1n1 WHO Wants To Help You...
Should we be lining up to get the h1n1 vaccine? According to WHO, yes we should. They also want to warn everyone not to panic, there is plenty of vaccine coming down the pike. And before going to your favorite website / chat zone to catch the latest gossip, take advantage of official sites. Sites that will provide you with the information your government wants you to know! There are more than enough of those available, too. The WHO even wants you to know what the web site should offer to you, the public at large! To prevent misinformation causing undue panic.
According to the WHO, The World Wide Web has become a land mine of useful information on various topics. Unfortunately, and partly as a result of the absence of regulation, some of the information provided can be of dubious credibility and at times misleading. This is particularly true in the area of vaccine safety, on which a flurry of websites providing unbalanced and misleading information (including the purporting of unfounded rumors), has appeared.
This can lead to undue fears, particularly among you, the general public. We don't need any of that now; do we? So sit back and let the WHO tell you what your web site should offer you, along with safe, unbiassed information.
Broken down into four simple and practical catigories to make obtaining this information as simple as possible. The first criteria is:
Accessibility (Practical criteria)
- Website should be consistently available and not frequently inaccessible due to server unreliability, high demand, or other problems.
This bullet point should make sense to all of us. As part of their ease of access, aka practical criteria, they off about 20 other suggestions including but not limited to language (does the site speak your language? If not what other are available? User support service contact information should be available! Another winner!
- The site should not have large and unnecessary graphics.
Okay; but what about people who like the pictures? And what about the site linked to WHO, regarding adjuvants? That "stuff" the government wants to put in our vaccine to make it work better with less, by kick starting our immune system response? That site is full of colorful double helixes?
Alright, we won't worry about that stuff, cause the WHO hasn't even mentioned it yet. Onward!
The second criteria:
Credibility (Essential criteria)
- Purpose of the website stated
Purpose is good! We know the purpose of WHO, is to let us know what our government is paying them to tell us.
- Individual or organization name, physical address, and electronic address provided on every page.
Oops. I guess the WHO forgot to share this information, when putting up their own site... but I'll bet I can access it off these neat links on every page. See like this phone number!! "For more information, call the special media telephone line: +41 xx xxx 5000." That sounds good!! The media always know everything!! Hmm +41. Is that long distance?
- Disclosure of all sources of funding for organization/website (grants, sponsors, advertisers, fees, personal).
Full disclosure, yeah let's not go there just now!! We might not like what we can't find...
Well, let's keep going I'm sure we'll find that wealth of information any second, because the third suggestion of critical information is:
Content! (Important criteria)
- Authority of sources: Clear statement of source for all information, including author's name, credentials, affiliations, and any relevant financial disclosure or potential conflict of interest bias. Description of any "seal of approval" or award the website has been granted.
Well of course this is important, I've be reading at Morning Mama's! for 4 months and I've known Mama Lou for at least 10 weeks now, she has 6 kids when would she have time for credentials! She's posted over 35 titles on vaccine safety and she knows more about setting up vaccine schedules than my kids doctor knows! Cause that's important! Her second cousin dated a podiatrist once and she still has his phone number to call in an emergency!!
I guess I'll have to ask her how many more magazine subscriptions and box tops we need to get that Better House Keepers Seal of Approval, we must be getting close! My kids have been eating Crusty ceriel 3 meals a day since August, for those box tops!!
- Standards of writing/editing: Writing on the site should be professional, with proper grammar, spelling, and composition.
This is good too, Mama Lou just helped Sista-Sista add spell checking to Morning Mama's! and she even gave directions for using it. Cuz not evryone pays attention to that!!
And the forth and last :
Design (Desired criteria)
- Logical organization: The design of the site should allow users to progress logically through the information and access information in an orderly manner
I can't imagine an argument here!
- Consistent plan: The site should be internally consistent in terms of design, including use of logos and icons, color, fonts, page layout, etc..
- Professional presentation: The overall look of the site should be professional and aesthetically pleasing.
Appearance is important to them, I'll agree with this, it makes it easier to find what I'm looking for, if I'm not distracted by flashing ads, poor structure and misspelled words.
Now, where is that adjuvants that I came here to find?
It isn't under Heath Topics (A-Z) nor Vaccines, Data and statistics, Data by categories, Programs and projects, Publications, Global Advisory Committee on Vaccine Safety.
Crazy enough when I put the word adjuvants or adjutants in h1n1 vaccines in the search box, I suddenly have a page with 10 titles and ten more pages to follow but the articles are no longer only in English!
WHO just dropped down past Morning Mama's on my list of helpful sites for information about the newest additive in vaccines....
Anyone who is interested will find an excellent article here:
Andrew Pollack. Benefit and Doubt in Vaccine Additive,
The New York Times, Sept 21 2009
Rob Stein. Swine Flu Campaign Waits on Vaccine. The Washington Post, August 23, 2009.