Canada…you’re supposed to be more sensible than the US. You know this. What are you doing?
Come on. Really?
Most Canadians were born too recently to see the night-and-day difference in public health brought about by immunizations—individuals who witnessed the horrors of the polio epidemics of the 1950s first hand are now well into old age, and many have passed away. Good health can be taken for granted when the public does not properly understand the link between that same good health and the measures that made it possible, and unfortunately, history and science cannot always conquer misinformation, mistrust, and fear.
It is disheartening enough that misinformation about vaccines is spread by voices ranging from outspoken celebrities like Jennifer MacCarthy to various alternative medicine trades, but it is cause for urgent concern when public institutions entrusted with the health of Canadians enable misinformation about endemic communicable diseases to go forward with the imprimatur of science.
Health Canada is responsible for ensuring that remedies sold to the public are both safe and effective. In recent years, however, Health Canada has allowed various natural health products to enter the market without requiring rigorous proof of effectiveness. Indeed, there are many remedies and homeopathic preparations currently licensed for sale that do not contain any of the allegedly active ingredient. A number of these are homeopathic “nosodes.” These are ultradilute (typically diluted far beyond the point where anything is left except solvent) preparations of infectious agents or infected tissue, and are administered as an “oral vaccine.”
Although real vaccines use low doses of part of an infectious agent to prevent disease, homeopathic preparations typically are diluted beyond the point where a single molecule remains.
I don’t know if the US allows that or not. Even if it doesn’t, we can’t brag, because it does allow “religious exemptions” in the majority of states, which basically just means it allows exemptions on request. That’s pretty much the same thing as an “oral vaccine” with nothing in it but solvent.
Remarkably, at the same time as Health Canada focuses on influenza education, flu shots, and other proven prevention measures, that same body has licensed 10 products with a homeopathic preparation called “influenzinum.” According to providers, influenzinum is for “preventing the flu and its related symptoms.”
Oh dear god. Canada, shame on you.