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In yet further news of why your alternative medical practitioner is NOT a doctor, the Canadian College of Homeopathic Medicine has issued a series of statements regarding the dangers of vaccines.

This news arrives following a scandal at Queen’s University in Kingston, ON, where an adjunct and poorly-qualified faculty member posted slides about the potential pitfalls of vaccination. Not to mention a widespread measles outbreak in the US following an infectious child at Disneyland.

Guys, vaccines don’t cause autism. Or any other harm, except a brief pain in the arm. Yes, this makes children cry. It hurts! Try to think back to the last time you got a shot (if you’re a hard-core anti-vaxxer, this was probably when you were a teenager; otherwise, you should be getting a tetanus booster once a decade.) It feels like being punched in the arm by The Rock for a few days. Guess what? Then it gets better. That’s not nearly as bad as paralysis, blindness, deafness, permanent scarring, or any of the other possible side effects of once common illnesses (not to mention, of course, the ultimate side effect: death).

The “science” behind anti-vaccination is about as scientific as the medieval advice to wear weasel testicles as a contraceptive. An unvaccinated child is not healthier: they are at risk for many diseases. Some of these, like chicken pox, are indeed relatively mild — when you have them as a child. (I got the chicken pox as an adult, before the vaccine. IT SUCKS.) Others, like the measles or polio, can be devastating. Two real, historical examples:

  1. Measles and smallpox decimated the native populations of the Americas when Westerners arrived in the 15th and 16th centuries. Without any protection — that is, without vaccines — these peoples were left utterly helpless against infection. Of course, what they did have was traditional medicine — and it was totally useless. But how, you may wonder, were Europeans safely carrying the virus without getting sick? It was because generations of survival gave them natural antibodies — that is, the earliest version of vaccination.
  2. FDR, the 32nd president of the United States, was paralyzed as an adult by what was probably polio. Although he invested heavily in research and sought to minimize the impact of his diagnosis on his life, his disease was never cured. Some retrospective studies have questioned whether polio was the true culprit in this case; however, most reputable sources have maintained the original physician’s diagnosis.

Of course, if you’re already convinced that vaccines are a giant cover-up designed to turn your precious spawn into drooling idiots, you probably believe in a lot of other nonsense, too. So: can I sell you some weasel testicles?