Another day, another horrifying story about anti-vaxxers and their seemingly unbreakable delusions. Regardless of how many years of concrete scientific evidence exists to prove without a doubt that vaccines save lives, there will still be people out there who choose to believe it’s all a scam.
Fortunately, a recent story about an 18-year-old getting his vaccinations on his birthday against his mother’s wishes is proving to the world that this blind idiocy isn’t genetic.
This story has been updated for accuracy (see below).
18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger from Ohio has never been vaccinated for diseases like hepatitis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, or even the chicken pox.
Ethan’s mother, Jill Wheeler, is anti-vaccine and has never allowed her son to be immunized. She, like many other anti-vaxxers, bases her decision off of debunked studies and misinformation online.
Fortunately, this ignorance did not seem to rub off on Ethan. In fact, he decided he wanted to get vaccinated on his 18th birthday after the public emergency was declared for the measles outbreak in Washington State.
Not having any information on where to go, Ethan took to Reddit for advice.
Ethan’s post received more than 1,000 responses and inspired other children of anti-vaxx parents to seek more information too.
In a recent interview with NPR’s Scott Simon, Ethan opened up about the conversations he had with his mom when he began questioning her decision to not vaccinate him.
“Her response was simply ‘that’s what they want you to think,’ ” he said. “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.”
Despite his mother’s stance, Ethan decided he was going to get vaccinated and recently received his first round of shots — for diseases such as HPV, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and influenza.
Though he’s made his decision, Ethan’s mother Jill still attempts to convince him not to finish his vaccinations.
“My mom had always known I disagreed with her and figured that was going to pass, but it didn’t,” he said. “She looked at it as me getting vaccines for a gesture of rebellion and not for my own sake and for the sake of people around me.”
Not the kind of shots one might normally associate with an 18th birthday, but good for you, Ethan.
Turns out Ethan Lindenberger is not an 18-year-old getting vaccinated, but an adult social media strategist who concocted the entire story.
Reddit user u/Interzone0 shared Lindenberger’s true identity Tuesday morning.
H/T LAD Bible