Teen With Anti-Vax Mom Celebrates His 18th Birthday By Getting Vaccinated ‘For Everything’

Ethan Lindenberger spent his youth believing his classmates did not get vaccinated either. He soon discovered that not only had most of his peers had their recommended vaccinations but his older siblings had obtained them also. The Ohio adolescent was not vaccinated due to his mother’s beliefs regarding the effect of vaccinations and therefore was not inoculated from the likes of hepatitis, measles, rubella, and mumps.

His mother refused to get him vaccinated after studying advice online that asserted vaccinations could result in autism and brain damage, and while he did not agree with her, it is outside his choice at the time. Now, however, he has became 18 and has now become an adult, meaning he could have them completed independently.

Thus, Ethan celebrated his 18th birthday by becoming vaccinated from a whole lot of different ailments.

There are plenty of children in a similar situation to Ethan, many of which took to Reddit to find out how they can get themselves vaccinated. Ethan posted about his situation in November, writing:

“My parents think vaccines are some kind of government scheme. It’s stupid and I’ve had countless arguments over the topic. But, because of their beliefs I’ve never been vaccinated for anything, god knows how I’m still alive.

“But, I’m a senior in high school now with a car, a license, and money of my own. I’d assume that I can get them on my own, but I’ve just never had a conversation with anyone about the subject. I’m also afraid I’d go somewhere that up charges vaccines way more than somewhere just down the street. Any advice would be awesome.

“I’m going to get vaccinated but it’s more of a matter of where do I go to get vaccines.”

This post received over 1,000 responses, and set Ethan on his course to having it done on his own. He went to get his first round of shots, for diseases such as hepatitis A and B, influenza and HPV.

Speaking to NPR’s Weekend Edition, he said:

“My mom had always known I disagreed with her and figured that was going to pass, but it didn’t. When I started looking into it myself, it became very apparent that there was a lot more evidence in defence of vaccinations, in their favour.

“Her response was simply ‘that’s what they want you to think’. I was just blown away that you know, the largest health organisation in the entire world would be written off with a kind of conspiracy theory-like statement like that.”

When he finally decided to tell his mother that he was going to be obtaining all his shots that she refused to give him, she was not too thrilled. Actually based on an interview with science magazine Undark, she called it “a slap in the face”.

“My mom had always known I disagreed with her and figured that was going to pass, but it didn’t,” Ethan continued. “She looked at it as me getting vaccines as a gesture of rebellion and not for my own sake and the sake of people around me.”

According to NPR, Ethan’s mother is still attempting to convince him to change his mind and not continue with the vaccinations, but he isn’t budging. While he doesn’t question her good intentions, he does doubt her judgement – and has more shots scheduled for later in the month.

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