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July 16, 2019

Teen gets vaccinated, rebelling against anti-vaxxer mom

February 12, 2019
FILE – In this Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, file photo, a health worker prepares a syringe with a vaccine. (Leo Correa / AP)

When Ethan Lindenberger turned 18, he was old enough to vote. But he had another word on his mind: vaccination.

Call them the anti-anti-vaxxers.


They are the rebelling kids of those who oppose vaccines, and they are getting vaccinated. Because, science.

“My parents are kind of stupid and don’t believe in vaccines. Now that I’m 18, where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?” Lindenberger wrote on Reddit in November.

The Ohio teen was met with an abundance of advice, most of it urging him on.

The upshot: He got vaccinated, against his mother’s wishes.

“Finally got my vaccines!” he proclaimed exuberantly in the same forum a month later.

Washington State the issue is especially cogent given the measles outbreak sweeping through some counties there.

“I am an underage teenager in Washington, whose mother is against vaccines,” wrote another teen, also on Reddit. “This has been a pretty hot debate in my family, as all of the children are strong believers in vaccines. I, as well as my siblings, hold the ideology that vaccines are a public health issue, and a personal responsibility to the benefit of the population, not a right you can revoke from your children.”

Ohio is one of 17 states in which parents can opt out of vaccines, The Washington Post reported. And now, teens are fact-checking their parents’ anti-vaccine stances and finding them wanting, the newspaper said.

“This generation of unvaccinated children coming of age has looked at the science and want to protect themselves,” Allison Winnike, president and chief executive of the Immunization Partnership, a Texas-based nonprofit vaccine advocacy group, told The Washington Post. “Now you’re seeing children coming of age, out from a cloud of misinformation.”

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