The GP and Conservative MP Sarah Wollaston is calling on homeopathy’s governing bodies to make it clear to parents that their alternative remedies will not protect children from measles outbreaks.
In Wollaston’s constituency of Totnes, Devon, the concern generated by Wakefield lingers on and is part of the reason, she believes, for a general distrust of vaccines and a reliance on homeopathy – remedies that are almost entirely water.
About 70% of five-year-olds in Totnes were fully protected against measles last year, she said on her blog, compared with 94% of those in Brixham, just miles away.
“Once it reaches a critical mass within a community, it takes on its own significance – you become an irresponsible parent if you are vaccinating,” she said. “I think it is time to dump this term ‘herd immunity’. The message, as I see it, is about community immunity. By vaccinating your child, you protect the child who cannot be vaccinated as they are too young or sickly.”
Surprisingly, the British Homeopathic Association and Faculty of Homeopathy said they agreed. “There is no evidence to suggest homeopathic vaccinations can protect against contagious diseases. We recommend people seek out the conventional treatments,” a spokesman said. The chairman of the Society of Homeopaths said: “The Society does not endorse the use of homeopathic medicines as an alternative to vaccination for the prevention of serious infectious diseases” and also recommended that conventional meds be used.
It’s good to see homeopathic spokespeople come out and say this stuff publicly but aren’t they also at the same time admitting that their medicine is useless by doing so?
Tip: Richard Mein