Kristen O’Meara was staunchly against vaccines and believed that they caused autism. That is, until her children became sick with a preventable disease: rotavirus.Rotavirus causes acute stomach distress, and all three of her children caught the virus around the same time.“It was awful, and it didn’t have to happen, because I could have had them vaccinated. I felt guilty. I felt really guilty,” she told ABC News.Both O’Meara and her husband also contracted rotavirus.She was one of those concerned moms who “scoured everything” about why vaccines might be dangerous and she had become “pretty convinced.” She chose not to vaccinate based on her own home Googling, not the advice of her doctors. She had read material that cast doubt on her beliefs, but chose to ignore it.“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.”All three of her children, age 7 and under, are now vaccinated, after being aggressively caught up.
Vaccines Are Safe, Don't Cause Autism
The American Academy of Pediatrics says that every child should be vaccinated, with the exception of those whose immune systems are compromised due to chronic illness, such as cancer. However, a study published last months says that the number of parents refusing to vaccinate their children is on the rise.In 2013 87 percent of pediatricians had encounted a parent who refused a vaccine for their child, up from 75 percent in 2006.Many parents believe that vaccines cause autism. The study which purports to show a link between the two has been repeatedly debunked and proved as fraudulent. Dozens of public health organizations view vaccines as not only perfectly safe and necessary, but also one of the single greatest public health achievements of the 20th century.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say that viruses such as measles, mumps and chicken pox need to be vaccinated against not only to protect individuals but also to allow those with weakened immune systems to be protected as well.