A teenager has told how he has been secretly vaccinated against his parents' wishes, as he claimed he had fought anti-vaccine "conspiracy theories," they read on the Internet.
Ethan Lindenberger, 18, appealed to help a Reddit forum and asked which vaccines to get when he said he had never received anyone because "my parents are kind of stupid and don't believe in vaccines". "God knows how I still live," he wrote.
After reading the advice and consulting with a priest, the teenager went to a department of the Norwalk, Ohio heath office in December, and received vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza and HPV.
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As a child, he missed receiving vaccination against measles, mumps, and red dogs (MMR), which most states require children to come to school and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in two doses.
"The US long-term vaccine safety program closely and constantly monitors the safety of vaccines," it says.
The teenager said he was trying to show the information to his mother, Jill Wheeler, who had her first two children vaccinated until she found out she could choose them.
"Her answer was simply" that's what they want you to think, "he told the NPR." I was just blown away, knowing that the largest health organization in the world would be written off with a kind of conspiracy theory similar statements like that. "
He said his mother was influenced by the debunked and outraged former British doctor Andrew Wakefield, who in the 1990s claimed there was a possible link between the MMR vaccine and childhood development regression and autism. The paper he co-authored was removed by The Lancet and he was found guilty of professional misconduct after a series of media postponed to formal investigations.
Sir. Wakefield has since settled in the US, where Donald Trump is among those who believe there is a link between vaccines and autism, despite the conclusions of this own government's scientists. Sir. Wakefield was among four leading anti-vaccination campaigns that met the Republican candidate at a 2016 Florida fundraiser shortly before the election.
The 62-year-old, who in 2017 was associated with an outbreak of measles among the Somali American community in Minnesota after visiting and sharing his views with them, told last year The Independent: "I was discredited in the eyes of those who wanted to see me discredited. In other words, those who were interested in maintaining the status quo."
Asked if he still thought there was a link, he said, "Is there a real case to answer? Absolutely. Do I think vaccines cause autism? Yes I do. Is the problem as big in the US? Yes it is."
The vast majority of experts in the field say that Mr Wakefield is wrong and points to as many as 17 studies showing no link between autism and the MMR vaccine.
Neither Mr Lindenberger nor his mother could be contacted immediately on Monday. She told undark.Og her son's actions felt left behind a "slack in the face".
"It was as if he were spitting on me and saying," You don't know anything, I don't trust you with anything. You don't know what you're talking about. You made a bad decision and I'll correct it, "she said.
Lindenberger's actions come as the Washington State has declared a public emergency following an outbreak of measles in southern Clark County that has infected at least 53 people, mostly children. Four more cases have been confirmed in nearby Multnomah County, Oregon. Another case has been identified in King County, which includes Seattle.
Both Washington and Oregon are among 17 states that allow children to attend school unvaccinated due to personal beliefs. Both state legislators said to consider changes to these laws. One report said that one-in-four young people attending kindergarten in Washington have not been vaccinated.