WHO has prepared a companion document to assist VSN candidates and VSN members to adequately address each criterion. All of the criteria are listed in this document. The more complex criteria contain URLs pointing to examples and brief notes explaining what is expected.


Screening criteria

Inclusion criteria

The website:

  • Should have a public health focus.
  • May require member registration, but registration and information should be free of charge.
  • Contains information on vaccine safety and/or information on the safety of vaccines mentioned on the site.
  • Contains current evidence-based information.
  • Provides balanced information on vaccine safety issues (VSN defines balanced in the context of these criteria, as unbiased information that presents all reasonable sides of controversial issues in a fair way).
  • Should be professional: at a minimum, it should be clearly written and structured, and follow a logical hierarchy for ease of navigation.

Exclusion criteria

The following websites are not eligible to join the VSN:

  • Corporate websites.
  • Websites that are not reviewed regularly, e.g. no activity for 2+ years despite availability of new information.