Photo: Screenshot, ABC News
Mom of three and teacher Kristen O’Meara was adamant about not vaccinating her three kids. The mom to three kids under seven had “scoured everything” about why vaccines might be harmful and came away confident in her decision to keep her kids far away from vaccines.
But then, they got sick. REALLY sick, with rotavirus, an illness that, if they had been infants without fully developed immune systems could have been deadly. The O’Meara family’s case of rotavirus lasted weeks and caused vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration. O’Meara and he husband succumbed to it as well.
O’Meara told ABC News that she was speaking out about her change of heart in the hopes that other families will also choose to vaccinate and protect their kids
“I put my kids at risk,” she said. “I wish that I had taken more time to research from both sides before my children were born.”
Though she did PLENTY of research about why she shouldn’t vaccinate her kids, she didn’t do any research or read up on why she SHOULD vaccinate her kids, a mistake, that she now clearly regrets.
The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommends vaccinations for almost all children, and has for years, but in a report published last month the AAP says that the number of parents who choose not to vaccinate is still on the rise. Many parents still report a reticence to vaccinate because of links between vaccinations and autism, even though the report that made such a claim has been repeatedly disproved and is officially considered to be fraudulent.
O’Meara says that her kids vaccinations are now completely up-to-date, and while she’s confident her decision has gotten their health on the right track, she told ABC News that regrettably, her change of heart has also cost her some friendships.
Even so, she won’t stop sharing her story.
“I’m here because I wanted to share my personal story … and if it does help someone change their mind, then that’s great,” she said.
Thanks for speaking out, Kristen! It takes a strong mom to admit she was wrong, and to put herself out there like this!
Do you choose to vaccinate your kids? Why or why not?