Mother-of-three who previously refused to vaccinate her children soon changed her views after all her kids fell ill with rotavirus.

Kristen O’Meara, a teacher from Chicago, has three children under seven and previously refused to have them vaccinated.

“I scoured everything I could possibly find about why vaccines might be harmful. I became pretty convinced,” Ms O’Meara told Good Morning America.

That changed when all three of her children caught rotavirus, which causes acute stomach distress.

“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 said.

“I put my kids at risk. I wish that I had taken more time to research from both sides before my children were born.”

Now her five-year-old and three-year-old twins are fully up-to-date with their vaccines after a series of catch up treatments.

Ms O’Meara wants to share her story with the world and encourage other anti-vaxxers to vaccinate their children.

“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.

In Australia the Rotavirus vaccination is only recommended for children up to 6 months of age. The first dose of vaccine is recommended to be given with your child’s 2 month old vaccines and it is most important that the vaccine is given on time.

This story comes just days after Aussie mum issues warning over shopping trolleys when her son was diagnosed him with adenovirus, rotavirus, salmonella and meningitis.

What is rotavirus and how serious is it? via Dept of Health AU

Rotavirus is the most common cause of severe gastroenteritis in infants and young children in Australia and worldwide.

The severity of the illness ranges from mild, watery diarrhoea of limited duration to severe, dehydrating diarrhoea with vomiting, fever and shock. Rotavirus infections are often more severe than other causes of diarrhoea, are more likely to be associated with dehydration and are more likely to require treatment in hospital.

Prior to the introduction of rotavirus vaccination in Australia, almost every child was infected with rotavirus by the age of 5 years, and there was approximately 10,000 hospitalisations due to rotavirus in children less than 5 years of age each year. In addition to hospitalised children, an estimated 115,000 children under 5 years of age visited a GP, and 22,000 children required an emergency department visit. On average, there was one childhood death from rotavirus each year.

Children can be infected with rotavirus several times during their lives, and without vaccination almost every child will suffer from at least one infection by the age of 3 years. The disease is easily spread from one child to the next. Confirmation of rotavirus infection can only be made by laboratory testing of faecal specimens.

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  • I had both of my kids vaccinated, yet at 10mths my son got really sick. I took him to hospital and he was admitted with rotavirus and as his mum it was horrible seeing him so sick. And on day 4 I got it as well.
    Please vaccinate.


  • Well I guess now she has learnt her lesson.


  • I hope more anti-vaxx families will read this article!!


  • Unfortunately, I think this is the only way anti vaxxers will change their views on vaccinations. It will take illness or death in one of their own kids before they’ll realise the importance of vaccinations. Sad but true


  • I would be interested to know what the statistics are now since the vaccination for rotavirus has been introduced.


  • I glad thus Mother now understands the necessity of vaccinations…..but definitely not the way she found out. Hopefully she will gain publicity to explain the damage caused to her children becuase of what she was led to believe.


  • Sad that she had to learn the hard way


  • O think those that decide not to vaccinate their children will stand fast and there is nothing anyone can say that will change their minds,


  • My eldest 2 were born oversees. Don’t know if they were immunized against the rotavirus as it’s not on their records.


  • I agree with you entirely rovermum. It is a no brainer.


  • A lesson learned the hard way. More personal stories of the change to vaxxing need to be shared for people to understand why they need to vaccinate. It’s a no brainer for me. Every time I see a video of a child with whooping cough, I get so angry at the lack of sense to those who don’t vax. And if I hear the case for not vaxxing and autism one more time, I think I’ll go crazy. Just Vaccinate. Do it!

    • Well said ..my thoughts entirely.


  • Sad that it takes a child to suffer for the realisation that vaccines are to help and protect children.


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