Some homeopathic practitioners are giving misleading information to parents about disease and vaccines, and offering them unproven alternatives. An investigation by the public broadcaster CBC used hidden cameras to record conversations between mothers and practitioners.
Measles can kill
One practitioner said measles was not a serious disease, when in fact it can lead to brain damage and is fatal in about one in 1,000 children who catch it. Routine immunization can protect a child against it, but there is growing suspicion of vaccines in Canada.
Canadian children are routinely given several vaccinations to protect them against a wide variety of diseases. But several years ago, a study linked vaccinations to autism. Even though that study has been completely discredited by rigorous scientific study, it started a movement against immunization.
Falling immunization is ‘frightening’
“I think it is frightening,” says Shannon MacDonald, a registered nurse and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Alberta who researches vaccine trends. She is concerned that too many people will stop immunizing their children. “If the herd immunity level drops and these diseases are introduced into the community, those children are not protected.
“I have worked overseas and in intensive care with children so I have a very real image of what the outcomes of these diseases can be,” says MacDonald.
“These diseases are the thing to be afraid of, and the vaccines are just by and far the safest option.”