Prior research has generated inconsistent results regarding vaccination rates among patients using so-called alternative medicine (SCAM). Given that SCAM includes a wide range of therapies – about 400 different treatments have been counted – variable vaccination patterns may occur within consultations with different types of SCAM practitioners.

A recent analysis aimed to evaluate differences between categories of SCAM regarding vaccination behavior among US adults.

Data from the 2017 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS; n = 26,742; response rate 80.7%) were used. Prevalences of flu vaccination, consultations with SCAM practitioners in the past 12 months, and their potential interactions were examined. 42.7% of participants had received the flu vaccination in the past 12 months, 32.4% had seen one or more SCAM practitioners. Users of any type of SCAM were as likely as non-users to have received a flu vaccination (44.8% users versus 41.7% non-users; p = 0,862; adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.95–1.07).

Regarding specific SCAM types,

  • individuals consulting with naturopaths (p < 0.001; AOR = 0.67, 95 %CI = 0.54–0.82),
  • homeopaths (p < 0.001; AOR = 0.55; 95 %CI = 0.44–0.69)
  • chiropractors (p = 0.016; AOR = 0.9, 95 %CI = 0.83–0.98)

were less likely to be vaccinated. Other SCAMs showed no significant association with flu vaccination behavior. Independent predictors for a flu shot were prior diabetes, cancer, current asthma, kidney disease, overweight and current pregnancy. As well, higher educational level, age, ethnicity, health insurance coverage, and having seen a general physician or medical specialist in the past 12 months were also associated with a higher vaccination rate.

The authors concluded that SCAM users were equally likely to receive an influenza vaccination compared with non-users. Different SCAM therapies showed varied associations with vaccination behavior. Further analyses may be needed to distinguish influencing factors among patients’ vaccination behavior.

This survey confirms what we have discussed repeatedly on this blog (see, for instance here, here, here, here, and here). The reason why consumers who consult naturopaths, homeopaths, or chiropractors get vaccinated less regularly is presumably that these practitioners tend to advise against vaccinations. And why do they do that?

  • Naturopaths claim that vaccines are toxic and their therapeutic options protect against infections.
  • Homeopaths claim that vaccines are toxic and their therapeutic options protect against infections.
  • Chiropractors claim that vaccines are toxic and their therapeutic options protect against infections.

Do these ‘therapeutic options’ – detox, nosodes, spinal manipulation – have anything in common?

Yes, they are bogus!


Many naturopaths, homeopaths, and chiropractors seem to be a risk to public health.

34 Responses to Many naturopaths, homeopaths, and chiropractors are a risk to public health

  • And yet…

    “…33% of younger and 64% of older high priority Chiropractic Users were (Influenza) vaccinated in 2007; these rates approximated those of Non-CAM Users.” Preventive medicine 54 (1), 5-8, 2012

    “…found no significant difference between chiropractic users and nonusers relative to having received the seasonal flu vaccine.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 34, Issue 9, November–December 2011, Pages 602-608

  • The general public must not put much value on annual flu vaccination, only about 50% are interested every year. Perhaps it’s the risk reward ratio. Perhaps their own experience warned them of something different that what the statistics given via the Pharma Industry and the Authoritative agencies promote. Perhaps they are not interested in the GBS lottery.
    MD’s push the vaccines every visit because they are incentivized to do so.

    What a SCAM

    • Well matched…key words

      “CDC conducts studies each year to determine how well influenza (flu) vaccines protect against flu. While vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary, recent studies show that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40% and 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to those used to make flu vaccines.”

    • Trump pushes bleach and Joe Rogan et. al pushes ivermectin. So the alternative to vaccines is inject beach or OD on horse medicine or die of covid. No thank you! I will stick with listening to MDs and get a flu and covid shot every year and look forward to the day when natural selection finishes its job of rooting out all science-denying morons.

      • If one’s view is wishing that people who have alternative views die, that may be a sign of extremism.

        • Not when those people with baseless alternative views are causing a public health disaster resulting in unnecessary spread of disease and death.

          • so you wish one group would die so another group maybe doesn’t die? Heck of a view.

          • The group that is ardently promoting anti-vaccine views are eventually going to get infected anyway and some of them will die, and that is happening to some extent already. The longer the people hold out from getting vaccine, the higher the chance of new variants emerging that may end up breaking thru the vaccine barrier and that would be detriment to public health.

            BTW, nice job trying to generalize my comments and pass judgement on them. Perhaps that makes you feel morally superior.

      • @Talker

        You are misinformed again.

        Both Trump and Rogan were made well as a result of receiving monoclonal antibodies treatment.
        However, they are not opposed to Ivermectin.

        • So much for being a listener, Listener!

          I wasn’t talking about what they got treated with for covid. But you already know that and you intentionally misrepresent what I said in my last post just to call me misinformed.

          Since you brought up that subject, Rogan said they threw everything at him including monoclonal antibodies, ivermectin etc.

          Who knows what trump got treated with, everything that comes out of his mouth is a lie and that is pretty much applies to most people in his administration, especially his WH communications staff.

          Here is the video of trump pushing or promoting bleach and Rogan promoting ivermectin.

          Choke on that misinformation!

  • I would be more interested in paediatric vaccination rates vs. SCAM use by parents. Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any research on that particular metric.

  • @Richard Rasker

    SCAM use of what Richard ?

    SCAM use of parent pediatric methods to avoid typical diseases that can transmitted to growing children for which vaccines are traditionally given ?

    Good luck.

    • @Listener
      Sorry, but I do not quite understand what you mean by “SCAM use of parent pediatric methods to avoid typical diseases …”

      What I mean is simply what I say: is there a correlation between childhood vaccination rates and the use of SCAM (i.e. anything from regularly buying homeopathic sugar crumbs and herbal stuff to actually consulting alternative practitioners)?

      Judging by the often overt antivaccine misinformation put forth by homeopaths, naturopaths and other quacks, one would indeed expect such a (negative) correlation, where more intensive use of and belief in SCAM correlates with less childhood vaccinations.
      But perhaps I’m being a bit pessimistic, and are parents more sensible when it comes to vaccinating their children, even if they do use SCAM to a greater or lesser extent. But so far, I haven’t been able to find any reliable data on this.

  • I am sure that a study would show that on average the smarter and more well read members of the public go to alternative practitioners. And that is why they have lower vaccination rates. They actuallly research the issue and think about it. The rest of the sheep who accept the ridiculous CDC vaccine propaganda go to CONmed (Conventional medicine) without giving much thought to the extreme risks to public health that constant drugging cause. More CONmed means more diabetes, more cancer, more obesity, dropping average life expectancies, poor quality of life in old-age from all the drugging.

    • @Roger Barr

      I am sure that a study would show that on average the smarter and more well read members of the public go to alternative practitioners.

      Not exactly. Indeed it would appear that SCAM use is lowest among less educated people, and increases with education level – but only up to a certain level. SCAM use decreases rapidly as soon as you enter academic levels, especially in medical and ‘hard’ sciences.

      They actuallly research the issue and think about it.

      No, not in any rational or scientific sense. Their ‘research’ never includes actual scientific literature, and mostly consists of seeking out Internet anecdotes and testimonials, and of course social media ‘information’ from other people who don’t know what they’re talking about.
      If you want to see someone who actually DID research the issue and thought about it, look no further than the title of this blog. Prof. Dr. Ernst has spent several decades doing just this kind of research.

      The rest of the sheep …

      ?? I thought that we were discussing human medicine, not veterinary issues. Or did you overdose on those cattle deworming pills?

  • @Roger Barr

    Roger, you are most certainly correct that the parents that are anti-vax have done immeasurably more research on vaccines that the average “sheep” parents having their children vaccinated…. NO DOUBT. And I have stated the same here previously. The USA has the most rigorous vaccine schedule of any country in the world, yet one of the highest infant mortality rates among OCED countries….. hmmm.

    I agree also with your verdict of CONmed with regard to chronic disease…. guilty as charged. They love treating the symptoms rather than the cause. CONmed has created millions of customers rather than cures.

    • research?
      by research, you mean reading a few conspiracy websites?

    • @Listener

      … the average “sheep” parents …

      Sorry old chum, but ‘sheep’ applies far better to those antivaccine adherents: as soon as just one of them starts bleating about ‘vaccination harm’, the whole herd follows this brainless individual in blind panic, rather than reading up on the actual science or listening to what knowledgeable people (doctors, scientists) have to say about it.

      • Read it and weep… for the lost children.

        The US childhood immunization schedule requires 26 vaccine doses for infants aged less than 1 year, the
        most in the world, yet 33 nations have better IMRs. Using linear regression, the immunization schedules
        of these 34 nations were examined and a correlation coefficient of 0.70 (p < 0.0001) was found between
        IMRs and the number of vaccine doses routinely given to infants. When nations were grouped into five
        different vaccine dose ranges (12–14, 15–17, 18–20, 21–23, and 24–26), 98.3% of the total variance in
        IMR was explained by the unweighted linear regression model. These findings demonstrate a
        counter-intuitive relationship: nations that require more vaccine doses tend to have higher infant mortality rates.
        Efforts to reduce the relatively high US IMR have been elusive. Finding ways to lower preterm birth
        rates should be a high priority. However, preventing premature births is just a partial solution to reduce
        infant deaths. A closer inspection of correlations between vaccine doses, biochemical or synergistic
        toxicity, and IMRs, is essential. All nations—rich and poor, advanced and developing—have an obligation
        to determine whether their immunization schedules are achieving their desired goals."

        I’ve done my F’n RESEARCH

        • Thank you for confirming what I just stated about your ‘research’

        • @Listener

          I’ve done my F’n RESEARCH

          Nah, you’re just a sheep, mindlessly following the bleating of two antivaxx clowns who are so utterly incompetent that I wouldn’t trust them to find let alone research their own bottom.

          But if you’re so keen on researching infant mortality figures vs. vaccinations, let’s do some REAL research with REAL numbers. And just for the sake of the argument, I shall take those two clowns’ toilet paper as a point of departure.

          Their claim is that infants in the US receive the most vaccine doses of all the countries in the world until the age of 1, AND that the US is doing appalling with regard to infant mortality compared to other countries. And then they jump to the conclusion that ‘many vaccines = high mortality’.

          Ignoring the fact that those clowns failed to count vaccine doses properly (IIRC, they erroneously counted each antigen in a combined vaccine as one dose), let’s simply see how OTHER western countries with extensive vaccination schedules are doing with regard to infant mortality.

          Take for instance Germany, which has a vaccination schedule that is even slightly more extensive than the American schedule. So if those two antivaxxers’ conclusions were right, Germany should have an even worse infant mortality than the US. OK, let’s see: … Nope, Germany has a far better childhood mortality figure: 3.8 per 1000 live births, against 6.5 for the US.
          Well, OK, maybe this was a fluke … Hmm, let’s take Estonia … Yes, their vaccination schedule is almost identical to the US schedule, with 24 vaccinations by the age of 1. Now let’s go back to our childhood mortality table … OK, let’s see … Estonia … WHAT? Just 2.4 infant deaths per 1000 live births?

          Clearly, the number of childhood vaccines is not even correlated to higher infant mortality, let alone that there is a causative relationship(*). In fact, ALL western countries have far better infant mortality figures than the US, with more or less the same vaccination schedules.

          So let’s head back to the good ‘ole US, and look at infant mortality and vaccination in some more detail.
          First, let’s see if there are regional differences in infant mortality:
          Hmm … that is odd … this reminds me of another map … aha:
          So there IS a very strong positive correlation between Republican-led states and infant mortality. In fact, in most democrat-governed states, infant mortality is on par with other western countries.

          And oh, this also reminds me of another map:
          So the states with the lowest vaccine uptake are also the states with the highest infant mortality – i.e. there is also a negative correlation between vaccine uptake and childhood mortality – exactly the opposite of what our two antivaxx clowns tried to tell us.

          So summarized: at birth, an American child has twice the risk of dying as a baby when it is born in a state with low vaccine uptake – which almost exclusively happen to be Republican states as well …

          Now, the next item of research would be to figure out why this is the case. Can you think of a mechanism?

          *: When you take countries with very low vaccination rates into account as well, there is of course a relationship: less vaccination = more dead children.

          • That’s the deaf idiot having their arse handed to them on a silver platter, Richard. Nice one.

          • Well, one has to account for other factors, not just if it’s a Republican ran state, or one risks committing the same error.

            “Vaccination coverage was significantly lower among non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, and non-Hispanic Asians compared with non-Hispanic whites, with only a few exceptions. Age, sex, education, health insurance, usual place of care, number of physician visits in the past 12 months, and health insurance were independently associated with receipt of most of the vaccines examined. Racial/ethnic differences narrowed, but gaps remained after taking these factors into account.”


          • @Richard Rasker

            As they cliche goes;

            “Figures don’t lie, but liars sure can figure”

          • Well, one has to account for other factors, not just if it’s a Republican ran state,

            That goes without saying

            or one risks committing the same error.

            I think I’m doing a significantly better job than those two antivaccine guys. I signal a correlation (not causality) between infant mortality and political colour based on the situation in all US states – and this correlation appears pretty solid. I do not speculate on any causality, as that is something that requires more research.
            Miller and Goldman, OTOH, really mess up badly:
            – They base their faulty conclusion on just one data point – the US situation.
            – They strongly suggest that their ‘research’ shows causality, and not just correlation.
            As soon as one includes data from other western countries, it becomes abundantly clear that there isn’t even correlation, which automatically means that there is no causality either. And these are not the only things wrong with their ‘research’. I think we can safely conclude that these people are very stupid, or very dishonest, or (most likely) both – given that they churned out quite a bit more antivaccine rubbish based on completely skewed, biased and misinterpreted data.

            Vaccination coverage was significantly lower among non-Hispanic blacks …

            Yes, these things are well-known, and the question of course is what causes these differences between racial and socio-economic groups – and if the local political climate has anything to do with it, and/or if those states with higher vaccine uptake also have less people from said minority groups …
            These are interesting things to research and discuss, but are way off-topic here. So I’ll leave it at this.

  • @EE


    The facts are the facts, no matter how your spin it. That article is a hit piece.

    Just happens to be… perhaps they got their documentation here;

    • not a hit piece [you forgot a letter[; it’s a shit piece!!!

    • You are right Listener, facts are facts and it depends on what you happen to call facts. Despite overwhelming evidence that vaccines are not responsible for infant deaths. You just happened to cherry pick an article by known antivaxxers, published in an obscure journal for your so-called “research” and to push your agenda. No one expected anything less from antivaxxers like you anyways.

  • @Richard Rasker

    Actually, I will admit that the data is very difficult to come to a absolute conclusion. So I will apologize to have opened a can of worms needlessly.

    I’m not conceding I’m wrong, I may or may not be. I’m neither conceding your convinced me with your math … Richard. I’m just conceding that the link I supplied does not contain enough date to draw the conclusion that were spelled out. There is not the correct data to be convinced one way or the other.

    I stumbled upon this realization when I discovered that the comparisons revealed in the link I supplied do not have sufficient data to be credible enough to draw any dogmatic conclusions about IMR.

    Here’s why;
    The comparisons made between the many OCED countries from this link supplied, is not able to compile specific data to delineate factual information to compare data from countries that mandate vaccines to all births, countries that mandate vaccines to attend school, and those that don’t mandate vaccines at all. Therefore comparing vaccines schedules to determine IMR is at best clouded.

    I came to this conclusion while looking at the data from another website.
    I concede that the article can not be accurate to what it claims with the missing data, and only the facts supplied.

  • Edzard in his infinite wisdom has determined that [All] vaccines are safe and effective [for Everyone, All the Time, At any Age]. Not like “real” drugs that need to be prescribed based on the specific circumstances of the patient. Im glad that has finally been decided. You can all go home now. No need to debate this point further. He has out-done the CDC which couldnt produce evidence in court that the early childhood vaccines didnt cause autism. He must have some hidden font of knowledge that the CDC is not privy to. Please enlighten us about it. h
    Please everybody, run away from those nasty homeopaths, naturopaths and chiropractors that would prefer you not get these mother’s milk vaccines.

    • “Edzard in his infinite wisdom has determined that [All] vaccines are safe and effective [for Everyone, All the Time, At any Age].”
      Roger in his deep delusion is talking bollocks again!

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