It’s a debate that has been going on for years and as revealed by a report by CBC Marketplace things are just going to get worse.
The investigation discovered that some alternative health practitioners are offering unproven vaccine “alternatives” to parents and blatantly misleading them by giving outright false information to convert parents to join the anti-vaccine crusade. One homeopath even said “measles is not a dangerous disease.”
Marketplace checked homeopathic practitioners in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada to find out firsthand what kind of advice and other options parents were being given about vaccines.
The results were beyond interesting.
A few homeopathic practitioners offered treatments, called “nosodes,” as vaccine alternatives and have claimed that it is just as effective as vaccines against dangerous diseases like measles and polio – illness that have killed a lot of children throughout history.
Nosodes are made when diseased tissue or excretions are diluted to the point where any trace of the original substance may not be present. Homeopathic practitioners argue that the memory of the original substance is enough to create immunity writes CBC. Public health groups including the academe as well as the government itself have been critical of this approach.
Some naturopathic practitioners also belittled the danger of communicable diseases like measles, one of the many diseases prevented by vaccination throughout the world. Measles have been proven to cause brain damage and even death in some cases.
Public Health Agency of Canada already warned parents after it learned of unusually high number of measles cases, with outbreaks reported in five provinces.
“I think it’s frightening,” Shannon MacDonald, a registered nurse and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Alberta who researches vaccine trends told the press.
“If the herd immunity level drops and these diseases are introduced into the community, those children are not protected,” MacDonald says. “You have well-meaning parents who’ve been provided an option, which they’ve been told that it’s going to protect their children. And it’s a lie,” she said.