Ethan Lindenberger from Ohio never got the chance to line up at school for those painful vaccination jabs because of his mum’s belief.This all changed when he turned 18 and decided to get birthday shots — not the fun kind involving copious amounts of alcohol — the other fun kind that prevents you from catching a whole load of diseases like hepatitis. “I had grown up with my mum being very staunch and open about her position against vaccines,” Lindenberger told CNN.
Despite his older siblings getting their shots, Ethan’s mum, Jill Wheeler, was opposed to the idea for her son, Ethan, after reading information online that falsely claimed vaccinations were linked to autism and brain damage.
The Australian Government has produced a fact sheet about vaccinations explaining where this misunderstanding has come from.
Ethan reached out to Reddit users to find out whether he needed his parents’ permission to get vaccinated.
“My parents are kind of stupid and don’t believe in vaccines. Now that I’m 18, where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?”
About a month later, the post was updated, announcing that he got his vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza and HPV.
“I saw that there were a lot of people with different opinions, and as I explored those opinions, I came to the conclusion that they were good and beneficial,” Lindenberger told GMA.
After a public health emergency was declared in Washington State following a measles outbreak — seeing more than 50 people infected — Ethan decided to get the jab to protect himself and others.
“My mum had always known I disagreed with her and figured that was going to pass, but it didn’t. 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,” he told NPR.
And while Ms Wheeler thinks her son is just being rebellious — Ethan is booked in to have more shots this month.
Enjoy your 18th birthday shots, Ethan.