After the Sudden Death of Her 6-Year-Old Daughter, Ohio Mother Becomes Target of Anti-Vaxxers

Anastasia Weaver, 6 years old, white, brown hair with bangs, smiling
Becker Funeral Homes

Following the death of 6-year-old Anastasia Weaver, many anti-vaxxers clung to the idea that the child died due to her receiving a COVID vaccine.

The parents of a young Ohio girl who died unexpectedly are now the target of anti-vaxxers who blame the child's COVID vaccinations for her sudden death, according to reports. 

One of Andrew Weaver and Jessica Day-Weaver's 6-year-old twin daughters, Anastasia, died unexpectedly on Jan. 25 in a local hospital's emergency room, according to her obituary

"Anastasia was a sweet girl who loved spending time with her family and going to school. She loved her dog, Oreo, cats Nala and Simba, and unicorns. She was the most loving little girl you would ever meet," the obituary reads. 

Her obituary makes no mention of the child's cause of death.

“The doctors haven’t given us any information other than it was due to all of her chronic conditions," Day-Weaver told the Associated Press. Anastasia suffered from epilepsy, asthma and underwent frequent hospitalizations with respiratory viruses, she said.

But Anastasia's death has become a tool for those opposed to COVID vaccinations. 

The official Twitter account for the movie "Died Suddenly," a film supporting conspiracy theories around sudden deaths following vaccines, is among those promoting the idea that Anastasia died because of the COVID-19 vaccine she received months earlier. The account regularly tweets about cases where they falsely claim a person died due to after effects of the vaccine. They also tweeted a picture of Anastasia and condemned her mother. 

"There was never a thought that it could be from the vaccine,” Day-Weaver told the AP.

“Her mother is a nurse and she heavily pushed the [COVID] vaccine on Facebook. Anastasia did receive at least two vaccines according to the mother’s social media,” tweeted the account.

Others piled on Anastasia's parents.

“It saddens me when children are the victims of their parents’ folly before they have the capacity to make their own decisions,” said one user. 

And on Facebook, a user responded to a post about the child, saying, “Mother Jessica Day-Weaver, believing the lies and narrative being pushed so they could control the masses for their pockets and global agendas, unknowingly ushered death upon her child, Anastasia.”

The loved ones of Anastasia are among the many who have been targeted by the group claiming vaccines are to blame for sudden deaths. But such posts do receive some pushback, especially by those enraged that the death of a little girl has been weaponized.

"I am so sick and tired of these psychopaths," one Facebook user wrote. "They are purveyors of doom and gloom and intense agitation of and in our society- and with rare exception serve no healthy purpose to us all. They are trolls, bots and scaremongering nut cases. We cannot let these loose cannons promote their conspiracy theories any more!"

"So in your highly-trained medical opinion, it had nothing to do with her premature birth or her heart condition that required surgery, but the vaccine she got four months ago?" another user commented e on a post pedaling conspiracy theories about Anastasia's death. "You're a ghoul for perpetuating this misinformation and furthering the harassment this family has already undergone by anti-vaxxers."

On Facebook posts that include the false narrative that Anastasia died as a result of receiving the COVID-19 vaccine, Facebook has included a disclaimer that "COVID-19 vaccines go through many tests for safety and effectiveness and are then monitored closely." The disclaimer also includes a link to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's information on COVID-19 vaccine safety in the U.S.

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