Gen Zer from Ohio who blossomed two years ago by disrespecting his mother for his childhood goals has a message for young people wanting to be vaccinated against Covid-19 and getting back to their parents - get one if you can.
Ethan Lindenberger, 20, received his first dose three weeks ago and said that doing so “could save a person's life.”
"Young people facing this need to measure things like, 'I know vaccinations save lives, but I don't want to be homeless,'" he told NBC News. "So I'm telling you, if you can't have that kind of love conversation with your parents and you're of age, weigh those consequences seriously."
"Don't go out or be too busy ... but, if you can have that conversation, please get your gun as soon as possible," he continued.
Summer Johnson McGee, dean of the University of New Haven's School of Health Sciences, said he welcomed the message wholeheartedly.
"Ethan's advice is important in encouraging young people to read and talk openly with parents about their desire to be vaccinated," he said. "Young people who do not agree with their parents' views on vaccination are in a difficult position, but they should encourage their decisions to be vaccinated if they wish."
Ethan Lindenberger testifies during the hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions at Capitol Hill in Washington on March 5, 2019, to test treatment, focusing on the emergence of preventable diseases. File Carolyn Kaster / AP
Lindenberger received national attention in 2019 when she wrote to Reddit that she had never been vaccinated because her mother believed vaccines were dangerous. He was wounded to find his gun over his mother's protests and later testified before a Senate committee about how false information from Facebook, Twitter and other social media promotes the anti-vaccination organization.
Doing so has brought him a lot of praise from others but is even threatened with death from supporters of the organization.
Lindenberger spoke as a nationwide campaign to get as many young people as possible to be vaccinated now as everyone over the age of 12 is eligible for Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
There are about 25 million children between the ages of 12 and 17, according to Census Bureau data compiled and analyzed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. And while mortality rates or serious illnesses from Covid-19 are lower in children than in adults, public health experts have called these vaccinations the most important step in completely opening national and economic schools.
However, a recent survey conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation's Vaccine Monitor found that almost a quarter of parents surveyed would not allow their children to be vaccinated and 18 percent said they could only do so if schools sent that.
Parental consent is something children have to fight for across the country but it is not a one-size-fits-all approach as states have different laws.
Almost all states need permission from a parent or caregiver to administer the Covid-19 vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 15, a group federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention authorized the shooting earlier this month, according to a recent CNN analysis.
There are exceptions to just five states: in North Carolina, teens can get vaccinated without parental consent; in Tennessee and Alabama, young people 14 years of age and older do not need a permit; while in Oregon those years are set at 15; and finally in Iowa, it is up to the healthcare provider to decide.
In all other states, those between the ages of 12 and 15 need to be approved by their parents before receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. For young people between the ages of 16-18, however, the map is full.
In California, for example, children cannot receive the Covid-19 vaccine without their parents' permission, according to the TeenVax vaccination information website. But a 16-year-old child in South Carolina can do so without parental consent.
How many young people are in this predicament is not yet clear. But Kelly Danielpour, head of VaxTeen, said that among the nearly 12 questions she received daily, most came from young people arguing with parents who argued they should be vaccinated against Covid-19.
Kelly Danielpour courtesy Kelly Danielpour
"I started this site early," said the 18-year-old who lives in Los Angeles. He said he was inspired by Reddit youth who wanted to be vaccinated, despite their parents' anti-vaccination beliefs, to start an organization designed specifically for their peers. One of his main objectives at the time was to combat misinformation about the HPV vaccine
"But since the epidemic, getting Covid-19 vaccines has become a thing of the past," said Danielpour, who has acquired a Moderna rifle. "I'm lucky because my parents are vaccinated, but there seem to be a lot of young people whose parents are against allowing it to be vaccinated."
The first step, he said, is to equip young people with the knowledge and resources they can use to communicate with their parents - and in some cases it works. He said he had recently heard of a young man whose parents were retreating after he argued over a Covid-19 vaccine using VaxTeen information.
But if that doesn't interfere with parents 'views, he said, he's trying to get teens' information about "little self-consciousness."
"It's a problem of access, and a permit," Danielpour said.
Arin Parsa, founder of Teens for Vaccines' legal team, said in an email to NBC News that his team "is in the pits helping many young people who are struggling with vaccinations and extreme anti-vax ideas in their families."
"People often do not realize that the lack of new immunization rights is not just a public health problem but a serious mental health problem for many," wrote Parsa.
Lindenberger knows firsthand how difficult family life can be when children and parents fall on opposite sides of the vaccine. In fact, she finds herself arguing with her mother about Covid-19 vaccine.
"What I hear from him is the many similar arguments he uses to challenge other principles," he said.
Lindenberger said his father, who lives with him in Norwalk, Ohio, supports his decision to vote for Covid-19.
But he said he had heard of young people eager to be vaccinated who had been interrupted by their parents.
"I've had a few people come up to me wanting to know how to deal with parental rehabilitation in the fight against vaccination," Lindenberger said.
And he admits that there is no easy answer.
“When your parent disagrees, it's obvious that there are some issues you need to work on. It's not as easy as being vaccinated and telling your parents to throw stones at you, ”said Lindenberger. "There's a tough family here."