Teen Goes Against His Parents And Gets Vaccinated -- Why Did He Do It?

An Ohio teenager is rebelling against his mother over vaccination and he plans to encourage his younger siblings to follow the same path. Why did he change?

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source: MPR News

At 18 years old, Ethan Lindenberger has decided it is time to go against everything his mother, Jill Wheeler, told him about vaccinations.

The teenager said it was time to get shots for HPV, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and influenza and he is only getting started.

Mr. Lindenberger, of Norfolk, Ohio, was raised by a mother who is an anti-vaxxer and fed him son many inaccurate pieces of information that are floating on the Internet.

In an interview with NPR, the young man said his mother explained that vaccines are responsible for the rise of autism and can cause brain damage.

Lindenberger believed that immunization was linked to the adverse side effects his mother spoke of until he started talking to his friends and did some research on his own to learn the truth.

He confessed: "When I started looking into it myself, it became very apparent that there was a lot more evidence in defense of vaccinations, in their favor." 

Lindenberger did attempt to educate his mother with the findings, but he failed. 

According to the man, Wheeler had this reaction: "Her response was simply 'that's what they want you to think. I was just blown away that you know, the largest health organization in the entire world would be written off with a kind of conspiracy theory-like statement like that."

Wheeler, a mom of eight, became an anti-vaccine advocate in order to protect the health of her children. She stated that her son's decision to go against her wishes was "a slap in the face."

The sad mother explained: “I did not immunize him because I felt it was the best way to protect him and keep him safe. It was like him spitting on me. saying ‘You don’t know anything, I don’t trust you with anything. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You did make a bad decision, and I’m gonna go fix it.’”

Thus far, three of Wheeler's children, who are 18 or older, have decided to get vaccinated. 

The other five have never received vaccines. Lindenberger has been able to convince his 16-year-old brother, who said that he “wants to get vaccinated the moment he turns 18,” while his 14-year-old sister will not seek out vaccinations.