Kat Von D is speaking out about her label as an "anti-vaxxer" following an Instagram comment in 2018 that sparked controversy.
Since her late stages of pregnancy, Von D — who rose to fame after appearing on the hit tattoo TV show Miami Ink before landing her own series LA Ink — found herself in the middle of a PR debacle after stating she chose to raise her baby without vaccines. Now it looks like she's trying to shake the image post-birth.
"I am not an 'anti-vaxxer', what I am is a first-time mother," says Von D in a YouTube video. "What I am is a first-time mother. I am one of those moms that reads everything. Anything that is going in my baby or on my baby, I research like a complete and total nerd. After doing a bunch of research and reading the ingredients, naturally, I experienced some hesitancy."
The famous tattoo artist found herself at the center of a growing debate when she took to Instagram to speak about the troubles of being an expecting mother with many other people in your ear. In the post, she said she wanted her birth to be natural, while also mentioning that she intends to raise her baby vegan and vaccine-free. Most of the post was ignored by the internet, with many focusing on one topic. Von D says she's learned her lesson since the controversy and she has decided to leave her views on motherhood out of the public eye.
While she did not confirm her baby has been vaccinated following the controversy, Von D did say that instead of reading everything she sees online, she speaks to her pediatrician when it comes to bigger health-related decisions.
Regardless of her stance, "Vaccine Hesitancy" is one of the biggest threats facing global health in 2019 according to the World Health Organization. According to their statistics, vaccines prevent two to three million deaths a year, and they could save around one million more if proper healthcare was provided worldwide. Despite that, their research shows that — partly due to a hesitancy to vaccinate — measles cases have increased over 30 percent and countries that almost irradicated the disease have seen a resurgence recently.
As for Von D, we will probably not get a definitive answer regarding the status of her baby's vaccines, but her newer private approach to parenting will probably save her a few headaches going forward.