Thankfully, Kristen O’Meara’s children will be fine, but that almost wasn’t the case. All three of O’Meara’s children were diagnosed with rotavirus, a serious, but easily prevented illness. Afterward, O’Meara re-evaluated her position and now accepts the science behind vaccines. O’Meara now wants to change the minds of other parents who are anti-vaccine:
“I got absorbed in the anti-vax culture and secretly thought of myself as being superior to others. Parents who vaccinated didn’t have my special investigative skills. As far as I was concerned, they didn’t stop to question and were just sheep following the herd.”
“Then I started researching the intentional bias of the anti-vax reports. I wondered what would happen if I looked for confirmation of the efficiency and safety of vaccination. I read several books by Paul Offit, the co-inventor of a lifesaving rotavirus vaccine — who’s an indispensable purveyor of truth — as well as “The Panic Virus,” a logical, comprehensive argument for vaccines by Seth Mnookin.”
“I’m frustrated with the amount of misinformation I encountered when I set out on this journey. But in the end I am thankful, for the sake of Natasha, Áine and Lena, that I was able to reassess my position and accept information that is based on well-established, sound scientific evidence”
“If I can make even one anti-vaxxer think twice, speaking out will have been worth it.”
Speaking out will definitely be worth it if she can help prevent any children from getting sick. My own research looks at the social and psychological factors of why people reject evidence. Simply yelling facts at someone often will not get them to change their mind as you do not want to make them defensive. However, connecting with them on an emotional level, like O’Meara is trying to do, can be much more effective.
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