I’ve heard of homeopathy: is it equivalent to vaccines?
A recent BBC article, warns parents about the use of so-called homeopathic “vaccinations” instead of real vaccines. Homeopathy is the belief that super-dilutions, to the point where not even a single molecule of the active ingredient is likely to remain, of whatever causes the disease, will cure the same disease. For example, if coffee makes it hard to sleep, a super-dilution of coffee, to the point where it is basically just the water used to dilute it will cure insomnia. Leaving aside the merits of homeopathy as a whole, I can see how someone may think that homeopathic “vaccinations” are just like real vaccinations: in real vaccines the disease-causing virus is used to make a solution which contains a small amount of it to protect against the very same virus. However, the similarities are only superficial. As we will see, homeopathy is nothing at all like vaccines. Here is a short list of the main differences between homeopathy and vaccines:
- Vaccines contain small quantities of the weakened or dead virus, or some other part of it used as a signature to train the immune system, in every single dose. Homeopathic solutions, on the other hand, are diluted so much, that it is extremely unlikely that even a single molecule of the substance being made into a homeopathic solution, remains. Effectively, homeopathic pills are sugar pills and contain no active ingredient.
- Scientific evidence supporting the use of homeopathic solutions as vaccines, is non-existent. Scientific evidence supporting the efficacy and safety of real vaccines is abundant, and a simple PubMed search will satisfy anyone’s curiosity.
- Homeopathy is based on a belief that “likes cures likes”; whatever causes the disease can be super-diluted to cure it. Vaccines are not used to cure diseases, but to prevent them. The weakened virus in a vaccine is used to “train” the immune system to fight the virus when exposed to it. Vaccines are not used to cure an infection after it has happened.
I am sure there are other differences one can point to, but I am certain this is more than enough for anyone willing to look at this issue objectively. The only comment left to make is that taking a homeopathic solution as a vaccine would be equivalent to drinking a glass of water and calling it a pint of beer.