18-Year-Old Gets His Shots, Anti-Vax Mom Fumes

Minnesota Public Radio – Ethan Lindenberger is getting vaccinated for well, just about everything.

He’s 18 years old, but had never received vaccines for diseases like hepatitis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, or the chickenpox.

Lindenberger’s mother, Jill Wheeler, is anti-vaccine. He said she has been influenced by online misinformation, such as a debunked study that claimed certain vaccines were linked with autism, or a theory that vaccines cause brain damage.

Incorrect ideas like these have spread like wildfire, so much so that the CDC has explicitly tried to combat them, posting pages like “Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism.”

Lindenberger’s eldest sister is vaccinated, and his eldest brother is partially immunized, but once his mother found out that she had the right to opt-out of vaccinations, she chose not to vaccinate her younger five children.

“God knows how I’m still alive,” Lindenberger wrote on Reddit last November.

In his Reddit post, Lindenberger goes on to ask for help figuring out how to get vaccinated. He got more than 1,000 responses.

His post joins similar ones from other unvaccinated teenagers trying to get their shots, despite their parents’ beliefs.

At a time of widespread measles outbreaks in the Pacific Northwest, causing Washington state Gov.

Jay Inslee to declare a state of emergency, more minors are raising questions about whether they can provide their own consent to get vaccines.

According to the CDC, for the month of January this year, measles has been confirmed in 10 states, with the agency monitoring other outbreaks in New York state and New York City.

Growing up, Lindenberger said he listened to what his mom told him about how vaccines were bad and carried negative side effects. He thought it was normal to not receive vaccines. Read more. 

Lindenberger wrote on Reddit in November: 

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?

As the title explains, 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.