Vax Talk-logo

Vax Talk

Science Podcasts >

More Information


United States






Ep. 24: The One About Influenza

Do you get your flu shot? Does everyone you know get one, too? We invited Dr. LJ Tan to talk to us about last year's flu season, this year's flu forecast, flu vaccine uptake, and Riverdale. Links from this episode: Wonder Woman Vaccinates-- Parent(hetical) Science Podcast-- Ideas Start Here Podcast--


Ep. 23: Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism

Dr. Peter Hotez is a pediatrician, a vaccinologist, and a parent of Rachel, who is autistic. His new book, Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism, leaves no wiggle room for doubt about whether or not he embraces scientific consensus concerning vaccines. In this episode, we talked to Dr. Hotez about his book, about his daughter, about why vaccines cannot cause autism, and about the anti-vaccine movement. Links from the episode The book:...


Ep. 22: Measles Eradication and Elimination

If measles has been eliminated from North America, what's up with these outbreaks? Is it even possible to get rid of it globally and for good? We invited CDC's Dr. Mark Papania and Dr. Manisha Patel to answer all of our measles eradication questions. This episode was sponsored by the Task Force for Global Health in honor of Dr. Samuel Katz and Dr. Walter Orenstein, both of whom have played critical roles in eliminating measles.


Ep. 21: Anti-Vaccine Nurses

A PICU nurse contemplates swabbing a measles patients to infect her own child. A nurse practitioner makes a video about how to school pediatricians on vaccines. What is a pro-vaccine advocate to do? We invited Nurses Who Vaccinate's Melody Butler to discuss all things anti-vaccine nurses. Links from the show Nurses Who Vaccinate: CDC Pink Book Webinar: CHOP webinar:...


Ep. 20.4: Superman, Cancer, and Vaccines

At age 44, Jason Mendolsohn was diagnosed with Stage IV HPV throat cancer, and now he's on a mission to convince families to prevent this cancer in their children through immunization. Check out Jason at In this episode, we also chat about Russian bots. Here's the link to that study:


Ep. 20.3: Young Superheroes Protect Herd Immunity

Please note: This episode IS appropriate for kids of all ages, and we invite everyone to listen. Ethan Posard has a film credit and has published a book--and he's only 17. Meet vaccine advocacy's most influential young hero in this week's episode about teens, kids, vaccines, and advocacy.


Ep. 20.2: Protecting Our Littles w/Dr. Jacobson

New parents have many questions about vaccines. What is the best way to answer those questions and to handle potential vaccine concerns? We talked to Mayo Clinic's Dr. Bob Jacobson and tapped into his wealth of experience about all things vaccines before age two!


Ep 20.1: All the Pregnant Ladies w/ Heidi Murkoff

It's National Immunization Awareness Month, week 1. We are focused on vaccines during pregnancies, the two-for-one that protects both mom and baby. To talk about this important topic, we invited What to Expect's Heidi Murkoff to share her expertise and give us all advice about how to reach women during pregnancy and encourage immunization,


Ep 19: Hashtag Vaccines: the Social Media Episode

Echo chambers, Dunning-Kruger, misinformation, and conspiracy theories. These bad parts of social media are what pro-vaccine advocates battle daily and are the subject of this episode. Nathan and Karen talk to Dr. Jen Golbeck, director of the Social Intelligence Lab at the University of Maryland, College Park. (Plus, hear our new intro!) Find our NIAM t-shirts at


EP 18: Advocacy We Believe In with People We Like

Karen traveled to Atlanta for the National Immunization Conference and met many amazing people, a few of whom are featured in this episode. Nathan talks about the great pro-vaccine advocates we know, and they both discuss why we all advocate and what we can do to create more vaccine confidence. This episode is sponsored by the Vaccine Education Center at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Links mentioned... Dear Pro-Vaxxers response:...


Ep 17: Mamas, don't let your babies miss NIIW

Nathan and Karen talk to Every Child By Two's Amy Pisani about how the immunization challenges have changed over the decades and what challenges we face in our work together combatting vaccine-preventable diseases. Links from the episode: Every Child By Two/Vaccinate Your Family, Hotez/Caplan article, New Jersey hearing video,...


Ep 16: What about the dads?

So much of vaccine advocacy is aimed at mothers, but where are the dads in all of this? To find out, Nathan and Karen talked to Dean Masello, writer, comedian, and SAHD. Find him at This episode was made possible by a generous donation from Immunization Action Coalition:


Ep 15: Parenthetical Science

Karen and Nathan host Dr. Chad Hayes and Natalie Newell from the Parenthetical Science podcast for a rousing discussion about how parenting is harder than it needs to be and how people fall into the neverending woo rabbit hole. Links from the episode: Social media/HPV article: Nathan's Needlephobia video: Parenthetical Science podcast:


Ep 14: Ask Dr. Offit

Nathan and Karen talk to Dr. Paul Offit--head of infectious diseases at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and all around good guy. Dr. Offit took the time to answer questions our listeners submitted online, covering topics from influenza to pertussis to advocacy.


Ep. 13: HPV Cancers, Vaccines, and Cervivors

It's Cervical Cancer Awareness Month! In this episode, Nathan and Karen talk to Tamika Felder about her battle with HPV-caused cervical cancer and her organization, Cervivor. Links from this episode: Someone You Love: Mother Jones article: Leon's story:...


Bonus Episode: Live at NFID

In November, Nathan and Karen traveled to Bethesda, MD to record a live episode at NFID's Vaccinology Course. They discussed vaccine messaging with the good people there, and now, as a holiday treat, are sharing it with you. Watch for more great VAX TALK episodes in 2018, and support our mission at This episode was made possible through the sponsorship of NFID. Learn more at


Ep 12: Get Your Flu Shot

It’s also National Influenza Vaccination Week, which means it isn’t too late to get your flu shot. We invited Dr. Bill Schaffner (Vanderbilt) to discuss the difference between influenza and colds/tummy illnesses, this year’s flu season, the effectiveness of flu vaccines, and why your children are the most likely vectors of the flu. We also invited Serese Marotta (Families Fighting Flu) to discuss her family’s experience with H1N1 in 2009. Episode links: Donate:...


Ep 10: The Unvaccinated Kids I Love

When her firstborn was just a baby, Catie heard some frightening rumors about vaccines that made her stop immunizing completely (until she learned how wrong that rumor was). Erica, however, has always been a staunch vaccine advocate, but her relatives are vaccine refusers. Nathan and Karen talk to both Catie and Erica to learn what we can do to change the minds of the parents of the unvaccinated kids we love. This episode includes some of the latest research on the topic and updates on what...


Ep. 9: What Can I Do?

Many people like the idea of highly immunized communities, but they aren't sure what they can do to solve the problems of vaccine refusal and hesitancy. We talk to Dr. Tara Smith about her ideas, which she outlines in a new article, "Vaccine Rejection and Hesitancy: A Review and Call to Action." Links from this episode: Seattle Mama Doc flu: Dr. Tara Smith's article:...


Ep. 8.4: Remembering Kimberly; Teens & vaccines

Kimberly Coffey was only a few days from high school graduation when she fell sick with what she thought was the flu. Patti Wukovits, her mother, joins us to remember Kimberly and to encourage parents to vaccinate their teens and pre-teens fully and on-time. Patti Wukovits is the founder and Director of the Kimberly Coffey Foundation.