Teen defies anti-vaccine parents, gets shots

Sergio Conner
February 12, 2019

His mother, Jill Wheeler, was angered by his pursuit, she told Undark, an online science magazine.

"More children in the WHO European Region are being vaccinated against measles than ever before; but progress has been uneven between and within countries, leaving increasing clusters of susceptible individuals unprotected, and resulting in a record number of people affected by the virus in 2018", the United Nations agency said this week in a news release.

Lindenberger's post drew more than 1,000 comments, including detailed information on navigating the health care system in one post from someone who identified as a nurse. "You did make a bad decision and I'm gonna go fix it'".

Lindenberger's opinion on vaccinations hasn't changed his mother's mind, but Wheeler did say it's been a learning experience.

Wheeler did not respond to a request for comment.

He says the only shot he received, tetanus, as a toddler was out of necessity.

At 18, Lindenberger controls the vaccinations he gets and has since been immunized for HPV, hepatitis A, hepatitis B and influenza. The other must be a paperwork mistake, she said.

"I don't feel I'm putting my child at risk".

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The report comes as both Canada and the United States face another year of measles outbreaks such as one now underway in Washington State and OR, where support for anti-vaccination has been notable. Measles vaccination rates at the outbreak's epicenter are now up by 500 percent, and lawmakers in Washington are proposing a bill that would no longer allow parents to cite philosophical or personal reasons for not vaccinating their child.

"Measles is exquisitely contagious". In Italy, where the current governing coalition had pledged to drop a law banning children without vaccination from starting pre-school (the coalition has since reversed its position), health officials have declared a 'measles emergency, ' as nearly one quarter of all measles cases in Europe in 2017 were reported in Italy.

Another teenager, who in September identified himself as a 15-year old from Minnesota, asked Reddit for help to parse state laws in an effort to gain immunization himself.

People who have had the infection don't need to be immunized.

The tension has complicated his home life.

His older sister was vaccinated and his older brother was partially vaccinated, but when his mother discovered she could opt out of the practice, she chose not to vaccinate her younger five children.

"It breaks my heart that she could get measles and she'd be done", Lindenberger said.

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