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Teen Defies Anti-Vax Parents, Speaks Out

13 February 2019

But despite his mum's objections, Ethan will be going back to get more shots later this month.

"My parents think vaccines are some kind of government scheme", Lindenberger posted. "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".

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 risky. I'd assume that I can get them on my own but I've just never had a conversation with anyone about the subject.

He's not the only teen with this problem.

"There's a degree of feeling like, you know, he doesn't trust what I say as a parent", Wheeler said.

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Ethan made a decision to post on Reddit for advice.

"I definitely have received messages and I've have had people contact me that are in a similar situation where they want to pursue vaccinations and their parent or authority figure doesn't believe it's right", he told ABC. "Any and all advice is appreciated".

Recent measles outbreaks in the USA have reignited the debate over whether non-medical exemptions to inoculations should be allowed. That might sound like a small number, but the trend has medical professionals anxious. Vaccines are one of the top 10 public health achievements of the last century for the number of lives they've saved. But, according to NPR, when she found out she could opt out of immunizations, she didn't vaccinate her youngest five children, including Lindenberger.

In Washington, a self-described underage teen wrote in January that his or her mother would not allow vaccines. But she wouldn't budge.

Wheeler told online science magazine Undark that her son's decision felt like a "slap in the face".

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Lindenberger said he confronted his mother with the information, but she simply rebuffed him. You don't know what you're talking about. "My parents are kind of stupid", he wrote. She explained although she is anti-vaccine she is not against using modern medicine to treat a sickly child. The benefit of vaccination goes far beyond an individual child. And all 50 states grant exemptions for medical reasons.

Many cite the anti-vaxxing movement as the cause of recent infectious disease outbreaks across the country.

Meanwhile, a measles outbreak among anti-vaxx communities in NY and Washington state have many doctors concerned.

In light of the measles outbreak spreading across the Pacific Northwest, one teen, who was raised by anti-vaxx parents, celebrated his 18th birthday by taking his health into his own hands.

Lindenberger has shared his story with multiple news outlets and has even gone on TV to inform people about all the anti-vaxxer misinformation circulating on the Internet.

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Teen Defies Anti-Vax Parents, Speaks Out