18-Year-Old Testifies About Getting Vaccinated Despite Mother's Anti-Vaccine Beliefs

18-Year-Old Testifies About Getting Vaccinated Despite Mother's Anti-Vaccine Beliefs

18-Year-Old Testifies About Getting Vaccinated Despite Mother's Anti-Vaccine Beliefs

On Tuesday, a teenager who went viral for asking Reddit users if he can have himself vaccinated as an adult testified in Congress that his mother's misinformation sprung from news and information she reads from Facebook.

The 18-year-old from OH spoke to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions about how he came to the decision to get vaccinated on his own, and how his parents developed their unfounded beliefs that vaccines are unsafe. His mom got her misinformation from conspiracy posts on Facebook, posts created to "instill fear in the public".

Last December, despite his mother's disapproval and realizing that "my school viewed me as a health threat", Lindenberger began catching up on his missed immunizations. Ethan Lindenberger, appearing with a panel of doctors, told the committee on March 5 that it's important "to inform people about how to find good information", and to make them realize just how unsafe diseases like measles truly are.

Also, "we need federal leadership for a national vaccination campaign spearheaded by CDC in partnership with states that counter the anti-vaccine messages, similar to the successful Truth tobacco prevention campaign".

On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (yes, they actually call themselves the HELP Senate Committee) convened. "She thought vaccines were a conspiracy by the government to kill children".

"You may or may not know I am a physician", Cassidy said.

And further, he said, "hospitals commonly require their employees to be immunized, because they understand that herd immunity is important, and if a nurse's aide is not immunized, she can be a Typhoid Mary, if you will, bringing disease to many who are immunocompromised".

Just a week after a congressional hearing on the significant rise of measles cases in the United States, lawmakers met to discuss outbreaks of preventable diseases that seem to be sweeping the nation. There have been 206 confirmed cases of measles reported in the US, spanning 11 states, the CDC reports.

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His story made headlines and today Lindenberger, 18, stood before US Congress and speak about just how unsafe anti-vaxxer misinformation can be, claiming most of his mother's misinformation about vaccines was based on social media posts and anecdotes.

"Many people don't resonate well with data and numbers - they resonate better through stories", he said.

Paul's comments were quickly rebuked by his Republican colleague and a fellow doctor, Sen. In fact, he added he believes his 16-year-old son Noah eventually will get his shots.

"I'm not here to say 'don't vaccinate your kids.' If this hearing is for persuasion, I'm all for the persuasion".

"But I still do not favor giving up on liberty for a false sense of security." he concluded. They in turn are a hazard to people who can't get vaccinated - babies who are too young or people with weak immune systems. "I'd love to be a guest at Thanksgiving dinner at your house", joked Isakson.

Ethan, who lives with his father and wants to become a pastor, firmly believes his mother had good intentions in refusing to vaccinate her children.

"The sources which spread misinformation should be the primary concern of the American people", he said.

What got Ethan's vaccination quest noticed was his November post on the discussion website Reddit: "My parents are kind of stupid and don't believe in vaccines".

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