Teenager, 18, finally gets vaccinations and attacks his anti-vaxxer parents

Desiree Burns
February 12, 2019

The 18-year-old and his parents disagree over whether Ethan should be vaccinated against serious contagious viruses like measles, mumps, chickenpox, polio-or any disease for that matter, since his parents are committed anti-vaxxers. "This means that gaps at local level still offer an open door to the virus", says Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, Director of the WHO's Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen.

For most of his life, Lindenberger thought it was normal for most kids not to get immunized, but about two years ago he began to see how the posts about vaccines his own mother was sharing on social media were unsafe.

"The science community nearly entirely supports vaccinations", said Ethan Lindenberger who was recently vaccinated. That might sound like a small number, but the trend has medical professionals anxious.

His older sister was vaccinated and his older brother was partially vaccinated, but when his mother discovered she could opt out of the practice, she chose not to vaccinate her younger five children.

Lindenberger recently chose to reverse a decision his mother made for him and at the age of 18, he got himself vaccinated. He read up on the dangers of anti-vaxxing and even pulled up CDC studies on his phone at the dinner table, he told the Washington Post.

He has shots listed for tetanus and hepatitis B, administered when he was 2 years old, but Wheeler told Undark he received the tetanus shot after he accidentally cut himself.

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"There's a degree of feeling like, you know, he doesn't trust what I say as a parent", Wheeler said. "I had grown up hearing that and when I started to move on to social media, you know, 13, 14, there was very online heated debate".

Generally, in the USA a person must be at least 18 years of age to make decisions to have any sort of procedure or medical treatment, but under the Mature Minor Doctrine, a total of 15 states - including Florida, Pennsylvania and IL - allow decisions to be made without any sort of parental consent. You don't know what you're talking about.

Lindenberger's post received more than a thousand comments with advice on how and where he should go to receive his shots.

"There is a required form that the doctor has notified them of the risk but they still don't want it based on religious reasons or if they have an allergy in it, that would give them a medical objective", Ohms said.

Ethan Lindenberger gets first vaccine as Washington state struggles with a measles outbreak. Over 50 people have now been infected, mostly children between ages 1 and 10 who were never vaccinated.

Across Canada, only a single new case of laboratory-confirmed measles was reported between December 30, 2018, and January 26, 2019, according to Health Canada's most recent measles and rubella monitoring reports. Children can't afford to go unvaccinated, but because of false theories like the ones Lindenberger's mother believes, many have to-and it puts them at serious risk.

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