Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Medical | By Vicki Mclaughlin

Ohio Teen Defies Anti-Vaccine Parents, Gets Shots

Ohio Teen Defies Anti-Vaccine Parents, Gets Shots

But Ethan Lindenberger has other concerns.

He said his mother was "especially angry" about his decision, but his father "didn't care that much" because he's 18 years old now.

"My parents think vaccines are some kind of government scheme", Lindenberger wrote. "He continued, "I was just blown away that you know, the largest health organization in the entire world would be written off with a kind of conspiracy theory-like statement like that", adding that his mother 'kind of fell into this echo chamber, and got more and more misinformation". "You don't just get vaccinated for yourself". As a result, the teen was never vaccinated.

Several news outlets have reported that unvaccinated teens are taking to Reddit to ask adults for advice on how they can get the shots without their parents knowing.

Health experts say roughly 95 percent of people should be vaccinated to create "herd immunity" against a contagious disease like measles. And so through that, I got some good answers, ' Lindenberger said. "Any and all advice is appreciated".

"I have a 2-year-old sister and 5-year-old brother and due to their age and vaccines can prevent them from getting a disease that's preventable, I do worry about them", said Lindenberger. That might sound like a small number, but the trend has medical professionals anxious.

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One Ohio teenager whose mother never had him vaccinated made a decision to investigate the facts regarding vaccinations, then defy her and get himself vaccinated once he turned 18 in order to protect against six diseases, including mumps and hepatitis. 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.

"It was like him spitting on me", she said, "saying 'You don't know anything, I don't trust you with anything". You don't know what you're talking about.

OH is one of 17 states that allow parents to opt out of required vaccines for philosophical reasons, and all but three states allow exemption because of religious beliefs, which more parents are taking advantage of. Measles vaccination rates at the outbreak's epicenter are now up by 500 percent, and lawmakers in Washington are proposing a bill that would no longer allow parents to cite philosophical or personal reasons for not vaccinating their child. The website states that before a child turns 2, she should get immunizations that will protect her from 14 vaccine-preventable diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox, polio, and influenza.

On Friday, hundreds rallied to preserve their right not to vaccinate their children. The only year with a higher case count was 2014: numerous 667 cases that year were linked to an outbreak in the Philippines, and many occurred among unvaccinated Amish communities in OH, according to the CDC.

Ethan's main motivation came when a public health emergency was declared in Washington State after a measles outbreak. Over 50 people have now been infected, mostly children between ages 1 and 10 who were never vaccinated.

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