Anti-Vaxxers Change Position When All Their Kids Get Diarrhea at Once

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Statistics and doctor’s advice can’t change an anti-vaxxer’s mind, but a river of diarrhea can do what science cannot, and now one mother told Good Morning America that she deeply regrets having not had her children vaccinated.

Kristen O’Meara is a teacher who lives near Chicago with her husband and three daughters. Despite the fact that she is a teacher, she says she “scoured everything” and did her own research and became deeply convinced that vaccinations were harmful. Then all three of her children got rotavirus, which is an extremely nasty stomach ailment that causes dehydration and diarrhea. O’Meara and her husband got it, too.

After being sick for weeks, O’Meara and her husband are no longer anti-vaxxers, and O’Meara told Good Morning America that she deeply regrets having put her children at risk by not vaccinating them. Rotavirus sucks, and they’re lucky this lesson didn’t come from something like measles or whooping cough.

O’Meara’s kids are now fully vaccinated thanks to an “aggressive” schedule of vaccinations meant to catch them up to the recommended schedule. But O’Meara says she’s lost friends because of her changing position on vaccination. (When you have anti-vaxxer friends, suddenly becoming pro-vax is probably a problem. But there are probably a lot of vaccination-loving parents out there who would love to be friends with O’Meara and her husband.)

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It’s good that the kids are now vaccinated, but one thing that’s bugging me about this is how many news organizations are spinning this conversion as the switching of one anti-vax mother’s positions. But O’Meara’s husband is part of this equation as well. He’s not a cardboard cut-out of a man, and if his kids are unvaccinated that’s on him as much as it was on his wife. So this really sounds more like the conversion of two anti-vax parents, not one anti-vax mom.