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  • Others, however, actually thought the whole thing was pretty funny.

    For one thing, hundreds of users tagged their friends in the post, along with laughing emojis. Others commented that people who were outraged needed to "calm down" and realize that Dayss was just exercising a little "gallows humor."

    "It's obviously a joke!" wrote one person.

    "That’s so funny!" wrote one person. "Even though I am unvaccinated myself I still find it hilarious!"

    Some were also shocked when Facebook marked the post as "sensitive," blurring the image and requiring users to request to view it first.

    "All these sensitive Susan’s are killing me right now," one person said. "These comments! I love that it has to be covered now ... "

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  • Many argued that the really horrifying part of this whole thing wasn't actually the costume itself but the parents who choose not to vaccinate.

    "What is disgusting is not vaccinating your child and them potentially dying from preventable diseases," one person shot back.

    Meanwhile, others took a moment to dole out a few insensitive cracks of their own ... 

    "Jokes about anti-vaxxers never get old," one person wrote. "Neither do their children."

  • Whatever your stance on the costume itself, the topic is pretty timely, given the current issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy.

    In fact, the World Health Organization declared vaccine hesitancy to be among the 10 biggest global health threats in 2019.

    "Vaccine hesitancy -- the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines -- threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases," the WHO reported on its website. 

    Plus, the science is clear and indisputable: Vaccines save lives.

    "Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease -- it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved," the WHO website also noted.

  • Still, health professionals are finding it increasingly difficult to combat the groundswell of misinformation that circulates on social media.

    That's partly what inspired Beth Purkey, an ER nurse from Austin, Texas, to recently pen her own viral Facebook post, in which she shot down the many mistruths she's heard repeated about vaccines -- one by one.

    In her post, Purkey mainly addressed common flu vaccine myths, which include the flu shot causing the flu and the belief that drug companies merely want to push vaccines for profit.

    "I have always wondered how so many people think these things that are just absolutely false," Purkey told CafeMom. But after stumbling upon a recent Facebook article about the flu vaccine, she realized what was behind it all. 

    "I ended up reading the comments to the article and BAM, there was the answer to my question," she continued. "That's how so many people end up misinformed. Social media." 

  • In fact, a quick scroll through the comment thread on Dayss' post reveals a lot of this same misinformation.

    "Look at Karen's bones showing all types of damage," wrote one person. "Good thing the kid has a smile on her face. But I bet the kid kinda gets tired of caring for Karen and her vaccine injuries since her bones are out like that. I wonder if Karen knows vaccine makers have paid and will continue to pay for their injuries made to those hurt."

    For one thing, vaccine injuries are incredibly rare and typically mild, according to the Health Resources & Services Administration, resulting mostly in what amounts to an allergic reaction. For another, there's no medical evidence to support the claim that vaccine manufacturers are peddling the immunizations solely for profit, as this user suggested.

  • But however noble the message behind Dayss' costume may be in dispelling the myths, it's hard not to see that it toes a very tricky line.

    As many commented, the insensitivity of it all -- particularly as it pertains to innocent children -- isn't everyone's idea of something humorous.

    "I don't care what side of the line you're on," one person wrote. "You're a special kind of stupid and sick individual to mock a dead child or someone who has lost a child."

  • Speaking with CafeMom, Dayss shed some more light on the inspiration behind the costume -- as well as the intense scrutiny it's received.

    "To be honest, I almost didn't go to that party where that costume was worn," she says, explaining that she got out of work late and was really tired that night. But at the last minute, she decided to rally.

    As for where the idea came from, she says it wasn't something she set out to do initially.

    "The party theme was 'Face Your Fear,' and originally I was supposed to be La Llorona, as I grew up with that legend [from American folklore] and it scared me as a kid," she continues. "But again, I was tired and that's a lot of effort. So, as someone who works in the medical field, I went as a modern fear: An anti-vaxxer."

    She explains that it was actually her fiance's friend who gave her the nickname "Karen" -- something that many people on Facebook found to be an unfair dig. But Dayss is genuinely shocked that the post has garnered so much reaction in just a few short days.

    "The only reason why that post went public is because my friend, who is a pediatric RN, asked me to make it public so that way she could share it on her Facebook page," Dayss continues.

  • And as for what she thinks of the many (many) comments the post is getting? Dayss is undeterred.

    "For the people who support me and the idea of preventive care, I say keep up the good work and remember to get your flu vaccine!" she tells CafeMom. "As for those who are being negative/the anti-vaxxers, it truly scares me that a lot of people don't believe in the science of modern medicine."

    Dayss says she's alarmed by some of the claims many of the commenters are making on her post, many of which "are based around feelings and false ideas posted on the internet" rather than concrete evidence. 

    "As someone who has watched disease outbreaks happen and take lives, I just want people to trust the medical personnel that studied hard to save lives and keep others healthy with preventive care," she says. 

    At the end of the day, Dayss says she has "no regrets" about the costume, andis grateful for the "louder voice" she's been given since going viral. Ultimately, she hopes to use it for good and spread more awareness about important causes she feels passionate about.