Teen who got vaccinated despite parents' wishes speaks before Congress

Grant Boone
March 8, 2019

"I grew up understanding my mother believed vaccines are risky, as she would speak openly about her views both online and in person", the high schooler said Tuesday in testimony before a Senate hearing on contagious disease outbreaks.

Ethan Lindenberger, an OH teen, went most of his life unvaccinated due to his mother's belief that immunisations would cause autism, brain damage and other "vaccine injuries". He'd show her scientific studies but said she instead turned to illegitimate sources that "instill fear into the public".

Lindenberger grew up without common vaccinations like those for measles and chicken pox before finally getting immunizations starting in December. Lamar Alexander and a Memphis pediatric doctor told a Senate health committee Tuesday at a hearing on vaccine-preventable diseases.

"For my mother, her love, affection, and care of a parent was used to push an agenda and create false distress", he said, according to BuzzFeed News.

There have been 206 confirmed cases of measles reported in the US, spanning 11 states, the CDC reports.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explicitly states that there is no link between vaccines and autism.

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

"I went my entire life without numerous vaccines against diseases such as measles, chickenpox or even polio, " said Ethan Lindenberger.

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"As we contemplate forcing parents to choose this or that vaccine, I think it's important to remember that force is not consistent with the American story, not is force consistent with liberty our forefathers sought when they came to America". John Wiesman, Washington state's health secretary, called for a national campaign about the importance of vaccines.

The Ohio student said that he went unvaccinated until the age of 18, when he was legally able to obtain his own vaccinations, CBS News reported. In January, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared a state of emergency in response to the measles outbreak. "My mom did not believe that vaccines were beneficial to the health and safety of society and believes that they cause autism, brain damage and other complications".

Yet not everyone agreed fully with some of the ideas put forth in the hearing, such as mandatory vaccine requirements. Noting that his son and ex-wife are much more passionate about the subject than he is and that Wheeler is "100 percent anti-vaccines", he told the Reflector he is "now more in line with Ethan than I am his mother".

According to Dr. Eric Cadesky, is the president of Doctors of BC, he has seen the increase in young patients coming to get vaccinated with his own eyes and he has also heard from other doctors that the panic to get immunized by Canadian youngsters is happening everywhere.

"But I still do not favor giving up on liberty for a false sense of security." he concluded. Bill Cassidy responded to Paul and referenced how there are some vaccine requirements in place, such as in hospitals. His father, though, said that since he's 18 he's fine with it.

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". "I'd love to be a guest at Thanksgiving dinner at your house", joked Isakson.

Nationally, the United States has high measles vaccination coverage.

Already the effects are being seen, with major outbreaks of measles across the U.S., where anti-vax rhetoric is more popular than in the United Kingdom or Australia. "The only way to protect against measles is to get vaccinated".

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