Teenagers of anti-Vaxxer parents try to immunize themselves.
At least three teens raised by parents who are against vaccinations have asked Reddit for help with immunization, the Washington Post reports. After conducting their own vaccine research studies online, they have made them worry about their health.
These include Ethan Lindenberger, an 18-year-old from Norwalk, Ohio, who started a thread with the subject just before the last Thanksgiving: "My parents are kind of stupid and do not believe in vaccines. Now that I'm 18, where am I going to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age? "
He wrote, "My parents think that vaccines are a kind of government program," and "because of their belief, I was never vaccinated for anything, God knows how I'm still alive."
His post was rated more than 21.3K readers and drew more than a thousand comments with advice on how to navigate the health system, as well as recommendations for pharmacy chains and emergency centers offering vaccinations, as well as the CDC's recommended vaccination plan for children and adolescents.
Lindenberger's mother, Jill Wheeler, is part of the anti-civic movement, which has questioned the safety and need for immunization for "religious reasons, personal beliefs or philosophical reasons, safety concerns, and the desire for more information from health care providers." according to a report from 2016.
Wheeler complained to the online science magazine Undark that her son's contribution to Reddit "spit on me and say," You know nothing, I do not trust you. You do not know what you are talking about. You have made a bad decision and I will fix the problem. "She believes that there are vaccines for autism risks, a concern shared by many Vaxx experts and perpetuated by celebrities like Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey about a 1998 study that has been widely discredited and even withdrawn by Lancet last year has been.
Do not miss: The proportion of children who are not vaccinated has quadrupled in recent years
According to the National Conference of State Legislature, 17 states, including Washington, Oregon, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas, allow parents to be released from their children's vaccination for philosophical or personal reasons, while another 30 states allow parents to opt out of hiring to quit for religious reasons.
A minor in Washington who did not identify his name or gender posted to Reddit last month that his mother "budgeted" for her anti-Vaxx position, even though the teenager wants to be fully vaccinated. "I do not know what I'm vaccinated against and I do not know which vaccines are currently available to me. All I know is that they rejected every vaccine that contained mercury (which, to my knowledge, are quite a few.) I personally feel angry, "the teenager wrote, asking the community what options he or she has. The comments noted that under the law of the State of Washington, all minors over the age of 13 have the right to be treated on an outpatient basis – for example, vaccines – without the consent of their parents. Vaccines.gov also has an online search tool that lets you find out where you can get vaccinated.
A 15-year-old from Minnesota asked Reddit for advice if he was to be vaccinated without the consent of the Vaxxer mother.
According to a recent CDC report, the proportion of young children who have not received vaccinations has quadrupled over the last decade and a half. As a result, approximately 47,000 children born in 2015 (or 1.3%) were not vaccinated until 2017, compared to only 0.3% of children in 2001 – although the CDC Advisory Panel on Immunization Practices recommends a routine 2-year vaccination "14 potentially serious diseases", including polio, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B and varicella.
Do not miss: As the measles outbreak spreads, an anti-Vaxxer asks how he can protect his child
Meanwhile, measles outbreaks in the Pacific Northwest and Georgia have some families rushing their pediatricians and regional clinics looking for vaccines, Kaiser Health News reported. In January, orders for two types of measles vaccines in Clark County, Washington, were recorded at the same time last year, after at least 56 cases of the highly contagious virus were reported in Washington and Oregon. The outbreaks have led lawmakers to introduce a law that does not allow children to vaccinate for personal or philosophical reasons.
Lindenberger announced last month that he has received his vaccines, although he is now worried about his four younger siblings, who are between 2 and 16 years old.