It appears that the anti-vax movement is growing, and it is wide enough for some teenagers who never got vaccinated to take matters into their own hands and get their own shots.
One teen from Norwalk, Ohio, for instance, told the Washington Post, that he felt that his parents had put him in danger for refusing to vaccinate him when he was a child.
“Because of their beliefs I’ve never been vaccinated for anything, God knows how I’m still alive,” 18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger wrote recently.
According to the paper, a growing number of teens are getting their own vaccinations once they are old enough to legally make their own medical decisions.
As anti-vaccination movements metastasize amid outbreaks of dangerous diseases, Internet-savvy teenagers are fact-checking their parents’ decisions in a digital health reawakening — and seeking their own treatments in bouts of family defiance.
“This generation of unvaccinated children coming of age has looked at the science and want to protect themselves,” said Allison Winnike, president and chief executive of the Immunization Partnership, a Texas-based nonprofit vaccine advocacy group.
Anti-vaccination efforts spread after the publication of a now-debunked 1998 study linking some immunizations to autism, Winnike said.
“Now you’re seeing children coming of age, out from a cloud of misinformation,” Winnike told the Post.
Many of these young people are finding their answers on the Internet. The information they are finding is leading to a rising anti-anti-vax movement among young people.
The topic is a hot one, for sure. People all across the spectrum have turned against vaccines. Many have the mistaken belief that only wild-eyed religious people are against the medical treatments. But that is not exactly true.
Indeed, at least one Hollywood star is an anti-vaxer. Actress Jenny McCarthy is one star who stands against vaccines. Indeed, according to surveys the rich are more likely than the poor and superstitious who don’t agree with vaccines.
Only a week ago doctors in Rochester, New York, took to the media to urge parents to vaccinate their kids as measles swept across the region.
Still, many parents are certain that vaccinations bring diseases to vulnerable kids while others are shocked by the ignorance of such claims.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.