Teen goes against mother's wishes, gets vaccinated following Reddit advice

A teenager who’s parents were anti-vaccinations has gone on to have his vaccines after turning to the internet for advice [Photo: Getty]

A teenager who turned to Reddit for advice about whether he could have vaccines without parental consent has now been vaccinated.

“As the title explains, my parents think vaccines are some kind of government scheme,” Ethan Lindenberger from Ohio, wrote in the post last year.

“It’s stupid and I’ve had countless arguments over the topic. But, because of their beliefs I’ve never been vaccinated for anything.”

He went on to say that now the he is 18 he wants to get vaccinated, but was wondering how to go about it and where he should go.

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

Following the advice he received online Ethan has now had five vaccinations so far.

However, he told the BBC his mother still does not agree with his decision.

Though he had never wanted to do anything behind his mother’s back, the teen had become convinced that it was the best choice for him and those around him.

“If I get whooping cough I may be able to handle it because I’m older and I have a good immune system, but who’s to say I don’t cough on my two-year-old sister?” he asked.

“That’s an extremely scary thought.”

Ethan went on to apologise to his mother for anything upsetting he had put in the post.

“When I went on Reddit I expressed a lot of displeasure with my mum, I didn’t think it would go anywhere, I thought my mum was irrational, I was upset and I said some things I shouldn’t have,” he said on BBC World Service radio programme OS.

“I had to apologise for some of the stuff I said on Reddit, where I said she was irrational, crazy, dumb – because I was upset, I didn’t expect to be in the public eye and having to protect my mum. It’s not fair to her… she has done her own research.”

The decision over whether to vaccinate children and teenagers is often divisive.

In the US, the age in which a minor can request vaccinations without parental consent varies from state to state.

Over in Australia, the Government has clamped down on its ‘no jab, no pay’ policy by issuing further fines for parents who refuse to vaccinate their children.

Back in 2016, the revolutionary initiative withheld end of year tax benefits from families which refused to vaccinate their children.

But in a bid to crack down on even further, stricter sanctions have now been introduced which mean citizens who refuse to keep up to date with immunisations face losing $28 (approximately £16) from their tax benefits every two weeks.

Back in the UK, in 2017 a vegan mother was ordered to give her sons routine vaccinations after the High Court overruled her objections.

The mum-of-two, who cannot be named, is so opposed to giving her children everyday medicines that she refuses to even give her children Calpol when they are poorly.

Having objected to giving her sons’ routine vaccinations, the mum was told by a High Court judge that she must comply with an order from the Court of Protection to have them vaccinated.

And last year a Facebook advert warning parents that vaccines could “kill your child” has been banned.

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