A CBC Marketplace investigation has found that some alternative health practitioners are offering unproven vaccine “alternatives” to parents, which is adding to many parents’ confusion about vaccines. These treatments are not approved by Health Canada as alternatives to immunization.

Marketplace visited homeopathic practitioners in Toronto and Vancouver to investigate what advice and other options parents were being given about vaccines.

Many myths about vaccines are perpetuated by celebrities and websites that continue to promote discredited and inaccurate research.

Some of the homeopathic practitioners that Marketplace visited offered treatments, called “nosodes,” as vaccine alternatives, telling parents that the treatment is as effective as vaccines against diseases such as measles, polio and pertussis (whooping cough), which is highly contagious and can be fatal for infants.

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. Public health groups have been critical of this approach.

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