People are seen at a protest against masks, vaccines, and vaccine passports outside the headquarters of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on March 13, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images
A former anti-vax mom now says she’s waiting for her chance to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
Heather Simpson told CNN she got into the anti-vax movement while looking for information online.
She now regrets that she’s responsible for some parents deciding not to vaccinate their kids.
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A woman who garnered a large following on Facebook for her anti-vaccination content and views has since had a change of heart and says she’ll get a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as she’s able.
Heather Simpson, a 30-year-old mother from Texas, told CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan that she believed her young daughter would die if she was vaccinated.
“I was like, oh, my gosh, we are not vaccinating our kid. There’s no way. The vaccine goes into our child, she’ll just die. That’s all there is to it,” Simpson said.
Simpson said when she was trying to get pregnant with her daughter, Charlotte, she paid $200 for a video she came across on the internet. That video was filled with anti-vax conspiracy theories.
When Charlotte was a little over a year old, Simpson decided to make a Facebook post about her anti-vaccine views.
“It got shared like 600 times,” she said.
The likes gave her validation. “Yes, the validation. I’m not an idiot. A lot of people believe this,” Simpson said.
She explained that the attention seemed to validate her thinking, but after needing surgery, her views on vaccinations began to change.
Friends in the anti-vax community told her that getting surgery was the “lazy way out” and she should focus on finding natural solutions. She said talks with parents who were for vaccinations but still expressed their concerns over giving their kids shots helped her change her mind.
Simpson said she deleted the initial anti-vax Facebook page she had and started fresh.
Now, Simpson says she’s on board with vaccines and is awaiting her chance to get her COVID-19 shot, but the misinformation she’s shared has also impacted her husband, who says he’s not sure every recommended vaccine is actually needed.
He also says he won’t get the COVID-19 vaccine because he’s already had the illness, despite recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that all adults, including those who already contracted the virus, should get vaccinated.
Simpson expressed regret that she was a part of the reason other parents aren’t vaccinating their kids and worry about any harm she may have done.
“I’m also hoping that if they still follow me, they’re going to see that I changed and maybe I could reverse the damage,” she said. “I know that’s a long shot.”
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