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AAP and SELF Magazine Partner to Boost Confidence in Vaccines Through the Power of Images


Today, the American Academy of Pediatrics and SELF magazine announced the release of original imagery created in partnership in order to increase confidence in vaccines and share accurate information about immunizations. The World Health Organization listed vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 threats to public health in 2019, a fact illustrated by the recent measles outbreaks throughout the United States. The photos, which accurately portray the vaccine experience, will be available to download for free by any organization, media outlet, or person on Flickr, under a Creative Commons license. 

Stock photography commonly used to illustrate stories about vaccines can be medically inaccurate in a range of ways: depicting syringes not actually used for vaccinations, or shots administered incorrectly. It’s also often fear-mongering, depicting glistening needles, crying babies or menacing physicians. In order to create medically accurate images, the American Academy of Pediatrics consulted on the shoot, provided a physician to consult on-set, and reviewed all images for accuracy afterward. The photo shoot took place at a One Medical office and featured real physicians from the practice in the images. In addition to prioritizing medical accuracy, the American Academy of Pediatrics  and SELF ensured that the photos portray immunization as a healthy, positive activity, understanding that the media’s visual portrayal of vaccines is an important factor in public perception. 

“We are proud to partner with the American Academy of Pediatrics to release these photos, available to all, to increase public awareness about the benefits of vaccines and to encourage Americans to vaccinate according to the recommended schedule,” said Carolyn Kylstra, editor in chief, SELF magazine. “As editor of a 40-year-old health and wellness media brand, and as a mother, I feel a personal responsibility to take action to help combat the spread of misinformation that is contributing to vaccine hesitancy, a major public health threat.”

“As a pediatrician, I know that vaccines are one of the most remarkable, life-saving medical advances of our time. These photos will help to convey that message,” said Kyle Yasuda, MD, FAAP, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. “Images are powerful. They can invoke an emotional, instinctual response, and can help shape people’s perceptions. We know parents are seeking information about their child’s health from many sources, both online and in real life, and we want them to have access to accurate information and depictions of immunizations, so they can make the best choice for their family.” 

The American Academy of Pediatrics and SELF magazine chose to distribute the images on Flickr and license them through Creative Commons so they will be easily accessible by media outlets, hospitals, public health departments, and other organizations creating content about vaccines. Creative Commons licenses provide a simple and clear way to impart copyright permissions to anyone at no cost. The images will also be available for free download in the News Room of, the website of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

In addition to the vaccine photo project, SELF magazine released “Vaccines Save Lives” today, a special digital issue dedicated to exploring the truth about vaccines, and highlighting the inaccuracy and dangers of anti-vaccine misinformation.

About the American Academy of Pediatrics
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit

About SELF Magazine
SELF magazine is the leading health and wellness media authority, featuring compelling, accurate and welcoming wellness content you can trust. Reaching an audience of over 20 million across digital platforms, SELF provides information, support, motivation, community and encouragement. SELF helps people feel better by helping them tap into their greatest source of strength: themselves.

Lisa Black 
American Academy of Pediatrics, 630-626-6084

Samantha Kane 
SELF Magazine