Saturday, 16 February, 2019

Ohio Teen Ethan Lindenberger Defies His Mom, Gets Vaccinated

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Ben Pena | 12 February, 2019, 23:35

"I have seven children; five have not been vaccinated", said Wheeler. But he didn't know how.

The post begins with "my parents think vaccines are some kind of government scheme" and goes on to ask where can he go to get certain vaccinations.

"For 16 years I haven't received any vaccinations", explained Ethan Lindenberger.

This elicited a flood of unvaccinated children and teens to take to the internet asking how they could circumnavigate their parents' wishes and have themselves vaccinated, for fear of their own health. Different state laws affect how old minors need to be to make their own medical decisions.

"I am writing because I am the 15-year-old son of an anti-vaccine parent", reads a plea posted on Reddit four months ago. His friends were getting vaccinated.

Lindenberger tried to talk his mother, Jill Wheeler, into letting him and his younger siblings get vaccinated.

"When I started looking into it myself, it became very apparent that there was a lot more evidence in defense of vaccinations, in their favor", Lindenberger told NPR. His mother resisted and claimed there were autism risks from vaccines, a common argument used by anti-vaccination groups that has been widely debunked.

The teen chose to do some research and presented new information to his mother, Jill wheeler, to try and change her mind, including a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that debunked the autism myth. "It was like him spitting on me", she told the site, "saying 'You don't know anything, I don't trust you with anything". You don't know what you're talking about. And all 50 states grant exemptions for medical reasons.

'But, I'm a senior in high school now with a auto, a licence, and money of my own.

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

"We will continue our aggressive, multi-pronged response, until it is clear the outbreak has been contained", she said. But Ethan Lindenberger has other concerns.

In Washington, a self-described underage teen wrote in January that his or her mother would not allow vaccines.

It comes as an outbreak of measles were confirmed in ten states and a public health emergency was declared in an anti-vaccination "hot spot" in Portland, Oregon, last month.

"Measles is exquisitely contagious". The World Health Organization (WHO) even named "vaccine hesitancy" one of the top threats to global health in 2019, among HIV and pathogens like Ebola. Minnesota is a state where guardians can opt out of required vaccinations if they philosophically object to them.

The tension has complicated his home life. "I was doing it for my safety and the safety of others".

"When she was three-years-old she was diagnosed after a week's stay in St. Louis with juvenile arthritis", Simpson said.

Vancouver Coastal Health is insisting a public advisory isn't necessary and there is no risk to the public.

"It breaks my heart that she could get measles and she'd be done", Lindenberger said.

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