Teen defies anti-vaccine parents, gets shots

An MMR vaccine. Credit PA

Doctors say it's spreading mostly among people who haven't been vaccinated.

Lindenberger's story has since gone viral after he took to Reddit late past year asking for advice on how to get vaccinated because his "parents are kind of stupid".

"It breaks my heart that she could get measles and she'd be done", Lindenberger said.

Wheeler said she believes the injections pose a health risk, but the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), part of the Department of Health and Human Services, say serious side effects are very rare. It's stupid and I've had countless arguments over the topic. "But, due to their beliefs I've never been vaccinated for anything, god knows how I'm still alive", the teen wrote at the time.

Lindenberger first crowdsourced advice on how and where to get vaccinated in a Reddit post on November 16, 2018. In the post, Lindenberger asked for practical advice on how to begin the vaccination process, and said he had never spoken to anyone about it. "I spoke to a family physician and from then on I went and made an appointment and a few months later I had about five vaccines I have more coming this month", he said. One was 18-year-old Laura from Colorado who said she was seeking her own options because she needs a number of shots in order to attend college.

By the age of two, the CDC recommended children be vaccinated for hepatitis B, hepatitis A, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, meningitis, pneumococcal bacteria, polio, influenza, measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox.

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"I am writing because I am the 15-year-old son of an anti-vaccine parent", reads a plea posted on Reddit four months ago.

On Monday, Lindenberger appeared on CNN's Anderson Cooper Full Circle and said that despite not getting vaccinated, he never contracted chickenpox or measles.

Lindenberger tried to talk his mother, Jill Wheeler, into letting him and his younger siblings get vaccinated. "Being vaccinated provides very good protection against the measles". "I was doing it for my safety and the safety of others". "Continued evaluation of prevalence and reasons for nonvaccination is needed, as are improvements in access to and delivery of age-appropriate vaccinations to all children".

Generally, in the US a person must be at least 18 years of age to make decisions to have any sort of procedure or medical treatment, but under the Mature Minor Doctrine, a total of 15 states - including Florida, Pennsylvania and IL - allow decisions to be made without any sort of parental consent.

Silberman leads a vaccine choice group.

"Generally the parent is the final health care decision maker for the minor", she said. The World Health Organization (WHO) even named "vaccine hesitancy" one of the top threats to global health in 2019, among HIV and pathogens like Ebola. "When we don't see the devastation caused by vaccine-preventable diseases on a daily basis, some people discount the vital need to keep their families safe by vaccinating them".

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