About the Parents PACK Program

Vaccines offer parents some control of their children’s health!

Before vaccines, parents were scared of many childhood diseases. They would:

  • Keep their children out of swimming pools and send them to the country for the summer in an attempt to prevent polio
  • Take their children to chickenpox parties, hoping for milder cases when they were younger
  • Intentionally expose them to rubella to ensure they were immune as children before they reached their own child-bearing years

These choices were considered necessary because it was the only way to protect their children from harm.

Today, parents can employ the power of vaccines to control their children’s exposure to polio, chickenpox, rubella and almost a dozen other ravaging infections of childhood. However, parents and families today are faced with a new set of concerns. They have questions about COVID-19, vaccine safety, community disease outbreaks, and the spread of infections across generations in the same household or while interacting at family events where vaccination statuses may vary. On top of this, they are trying to sort out what they are hearing about vaccines and infectious diseases in an environment of information overload and politicization of related messages.

The Parents PACK Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) can help families stay abreast of all of the latest issues and be a trusted partner in the quest for reliable information in an ever-changing world.

About the Parents PACK Program

Parents PACK — Possessing, Accessing and Communicating Knowledge about vaccines — was established in 2005 by the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to:

  • Develop a dialogue with parents about vaccines
  • Provide vaccine information more regularly than doctor visits
  • Establish a place to easily get up-to-date information and answers to vaccine questions

Since its inception, the Parents PACK program has sought to offer vaccine information through a variety of mechanisms that make it convenient for families to have information when and where they need it, including through its monthly e-newsletter; mobile app, Vaccines on the Go; downloadable booklets, Pinterest boards and YouTube videos.

The program also offers suggestions and novel resources to help kids of all ages be more comfortable with vaccinations, including an age-specific website section about how to prepare before, during and after vaccine visits; online games, like Vax Pack Hero and “Just the Vax,”  to foster understanding of vaccines; and a downloadable coloring book, “My Vaccine Activity Book” (English | Spanish), to introduce the youngest children to vaccines.

More recently, the Parents PACK program has expanded to offer resources about evaluating information and understanding the scientific process to help families sort out the quality of information they are receiving about vaccines and infectious diseases and equip them for vaccine conversations that can be uncomfortable, yet necessary.

Additionally, Dr. Handy’s participation in the Parents PACK program provides information and understanding about the larger context of keeping families healthy, not only through vaccination, but by keeping home environments healthy and safe when it comes to stopping the spread of infectious diseases.

We hope the Parents PACK program will become your “go-to resource” when it comes to finding reliable information and answers about vaccines, infectious diseases and keeping your family healthy!

About the Vaccine Education Center

The Vaccine Education Center (VEC) was launched in October 2000 to provide accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date information about vaccines and the diseases they prevent.

The Center, through its websites, videos, informational tear sheets, e-newsletters, webinars and speaker programs, seeks to dispel some of the common misconceptions and misinformation surrounding vaccines.
The Vaccine Education Center is funded by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and through philanthropic donations. The center does not receive support from vaccine manufacturers.

Find out more about the Vaccine Education Center.