Ethan Lindenberger just turned 18 years and he is getting vaccinated for just about everything.
Ethan Lindenberger spent his childhood believing that his classmates didn’t get vaccinated because his mother, Jill Wheeler is anti-vaccine. Because of this, he’s never received vaccines for diseases like hepatitis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella or the chickenpox.
He soon found out that his older siblings had all been vaccinated including his eldest sister, 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.
His mother held him back after reading information on the internet that claimed certain vaccines were linked with autism, or a theory that vaccines cause brain damage.
So, Ethan celebrated his 18th birthday by getting vaccinated against a bunch of different illnesses.
“God knows how I’m still alive,” Lindenberger wrote on Reddit last November.
“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.
“I’m going to get vaccinated but it’s more of a matter of where do I go to get vaccines.”
“When I started looking into it myself, it became very apparent that there was a lot more evidence in defence of vaccinations, in their favour.
After researching, Lindenberger tried to confront his mother, approaching her with an article from the CDC about how vaccines don’t cause autism.
“Her response was simply ‘that’s what they want you to think’. I was just blown away that you know, the largest health organisation in the entire world would be written off with a kind of conspiracy theory-like statement like that.”
Once he told his mother that he was going to get the jabs done, she wasn’t too happy with him. In fact, according to an interview with the science magazine Undark, she called it “a slap in the face”.
“My mom had always known I disagreed with her and figured that was going to pass, but it didn’t,” Ethan continued. “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.”
Ethan’s mother is still attempting to convince him to change his mind and not continue with the vaccinations, but he isn’t budging.
Lindenberger recently received his first round of shots — for diseases such as HPV, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and influenza. It has caused some stress in his Norwalk, Ohio home, where he lives with both of his parents.
While he doesn’t question his mother’s love, Lindenberger said he questions her judgment. He has more shots scheduled for later this month.