Child getting a vaccine

Anti-Vax Mom’s Wake-Up Call: All Three Children Sick With Deadly And Preventable Disease

Kristen O’Meara, a self-proclaimed anti-vax mom, had done tons of research regarding vaccines and the potential risks associated with vaccinating children. After her research, this anti-vax mom made the decision not to vaccinate her three daughters. Unfortunately, this mother now believes her decision was a mistake. In fact, this anti-vax mom received a wake-up call when her 5-year-old and 3-year-old twin daughters, herself, and her husband got sick with the rotavirus.

According to NY Mag, Kristen O’Meara claims her entire family was sick with the virus for several weeks. This anti-vax mother has admitted to putting her daughters at risk with her decision not to have them vaccinated. She even reports feeling extremely guilty for not getting her daughters vaccinated.

“It was awful and it didn’t have to happen because I could have had them vaccinated. I felt guilty, I felt really guilty.”

All three of Kristen O’Meara’s daughters have been fully vaccinated after following an “aggressive” schedule in order to get them up to date with their vaccine. This anti-vax mother revealed the decision to get her girls vaccinated ended up costing her a few of her friendships.

“I wish that I had taken more time to research both sides. I wanted to share my personal story, and if it does help someone change their mind, then that’s great.”

NY Mag also reports that the number of parents who refuse to vaccinate their children has risen by 87 percent. This steep rise also includes parents who are asking to have vaccines delayed or spread out. These parents are asking pediatricians to space out the vaccines and give them in a pattern that is not the recommended CDC pattern.

The question is – why are more and more parents refusing to vaccinate their children if they don’t have a medical reason for doing so? Why are these parents saying no to a vaccine that could prevent the whooping cough or polio? NY Mag makes a point to mention that all evidence points to the fact that even if a vaccinated child contracts a disease that he/she was vaccinated for, he/she is less likely to die than a child who was not vaccinated.

Reports suggest that parents are starting to believe that vaccines are either going to harm their children or that they are not necessary. These parents believe the immune systems of their children are capable of fighting off these ailments without needing a vaccine. Statistics also show that 61 percent of pediatricians refuse to continue care after a parent continues to refuse vaccines.

Just What is the Rotavirus, Anyway?

Rotavirus is a virus that attacks a person’s intestinal track. A person can get this infection multiple times, but it is typically the first case of the infection that is the worst. The most common symptoms of this infection include an upset stomach and diarrhea.

Rotavirus is exceptionally dangerous – and even deadly – for babies and young children. Children who have this virus need to be monitored closely as it is easy for them to become dehydrated. Dehydration is a health issue that occurs when the child’s body loses more water than it is able to replace. When this happens, it can lead to all sorts of other health problems.

According to WebMD, this virus is very easy to spread. Once one child gets the infection, it is extremely common for any children who come into contact with the virus – who are not vaccinated – to also get the virus.

Just How Effective Is The Vaccine?

Before the rotavirus vaccine was introduced, the infection was responsible for 200,000 emergency room visits, 55,000 hospitalizations, and between 60 to 65 deaths in the United States every year, according to WebMD. Worldwide, it results in two million hospitalizations and more than 500,000 deaths in children under the age of 5 every year. While older children and even adults can get the virus, it is much more deadly for children under the age of 5.

Studies reveal the rotavirus vaccine is capable of preventing 74 percent of infections. The bigger picture is the fact that it prevents 98 percent of severe infections. This just reiterates the fact that the vaccine could be the difference between the virus being deadly for a child or just a mild upset stomach. In one hospital in Massachusetts, for example, the number of people being hospitalized with this virus dropped from 65 people to three in a time frame of two years.

Ok, So… Is The Vaccine Safe?

Before the rotavirus vaccine was approved, it was tested and deemed to be safe on more than 70,000 children. An earlier version of the vaccine called RotaShield, however, was removed from the market after two years of use because it created a small risk of a condition called intussusception which causes a small bowl to fold back onto the intestines creating a bowel obstruction.

The RotaTeq and Rotarix are the two vaccines used today, and they do not have any known risks and are considered to be safe. More importantly, the only children who are encouraged not to receive the vaccine are children who have an allergic reaction to the first round of the vaccine.

What do you think about the wake-up call this anti-vax mother received? More importantly, are you for or against vaccines? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

[Featured Image by JPC-PROD/ShutterStock]

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