An Ohio teenager celebrated his birthday in an unconventional way – by getting vaccinated against everything.
Ethan Lindenberger is the son of an anti-vaccination mom who decided that he didn’t need modern medicine’s intervention to live a long and healthy life, despite all of the scientific research and human history of disease contradicting this.
Ethan’s older brothers and sisters were all vaccinated, but when it came to him, his mother decided against inoculating him against deadly-but preventable illnesses like hepatitis, measles, rubella, and mumps.
Ohio is one of many states that requires parental consent for injection procedures, including vaccinations. So Ethan was left to wait until he was legally allowed to decide to get himself protected.
He was one of many kids of anti-vax parents who flocked to Reddit to ask how they can get themselves vaccinated, despite their parent’s beliefs. It’s strange to think that children is a world power country have to turn to the web for information of how to keep themselves from dying, but that’s 2019 in the world that we live in.
Ethan’s contribution to the subreddit read:
“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 licence, 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.”
A measles outbreak in Washington state (the same that spawned that hilarious post from an anti-vax mom asking how she can protect her unvaccinated 2 year old (hint, it’s vaccines)) is what triggered Ethan’s decision to go under the needle(s).
While Ethan is now protected, thousands of children go without potentially lifesaving medical treatments all because their parents buy into an unfounded and celebrity-fueled conspiracy theory.
Ethan said that his mother, like many others, had bought into the fake-science that vaccines cause autism and brain damage. Some even go so far as to challenge the agenda of “Big Pharma” is pushing the vaccines – see, it’s not for individual and public health, it’s so the government can control you.
Thankfully, Ethan saw through what his mother couldn’t and contributed to the health of human kind by getting his vaccines. The Anti-Vaccine movement often cries over the unconstitutionality of mandatory vaccines, saying it impedes on individual liberty and freedom of choice, but they ignore the concept of herd immunity. This is when a population together develops immunity to deadly diseases, though vaccines. This contains the spread of these illnesses, saving the lives of individuals who cannot themselves get the vaccines, such as the immuno-compromised or even pregnant women and their children.
Sadly, Ethan had to trade his relationship with his mother for his own personal health and the health of his community, because of her inability to see reason.
“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.” he said in an interview with NPR.
Ethan is reportedly booked to get more shots next month to complete him immunizations. No word either on if his mother herself is vaccinated, why she thinks having an autistic child is worse than a dead one (though again, there is no link between vaccines and autism), or by what miracle Ethan survived to 18 through.