Kids & Family

Ohio Teen Defies Anti-Vaxxer Mom and Gets Shots

An 18-year old Ohio boy decided enough was enough. High school senior Ethan Lindenberger recently defied his mother, who opposes vaccination, and got his shots.


An 18-year old Ohio boy decided enough was enough. High school senior Ethan Lindenberger recently defied his mother, who opposes vaccination, and got his shots. In an interview with CBS This Morning, Ethan said he made the choice because he believed his parents' misguided beliefs put his health, and the health of his younger siblings, at risk.

Ethan, 18, is old enough to get shots without his parents permission in Ohio. After years of thinking it was normal for most kids not to be immunized, he began investigating the topic himself. Once he looked into the controversial issue, he started to feel as if the anti-vaxxer posts his mother was sharing on Facebook were actually dangerous.

"I question her judgment, but not her care." Ethan Lindenberger on CBS This Morning

In November, Ethan asked strangers on the online message board Reddit, for advice. "My parents are kind of stupid," he posted. "God knows how I'm still alive." Jill Wheeler, Ethan's mother told CBS she was "blown away" when she found out what her son posted. "There's a degree of feeling like he doesn't trust what I say as a parent," she said (that's her below with Ethan in a screen grab from the CBS piece). Still she told CBS she's proud of her son for thinking for himself.

While Ethan regrets the tone of his post, he told CBS he doesn't regret his decision. "That came from a place of frustration and trying to deal with this issue and find common ground."

The topic of vaccinations is something very personal personal for Sparkt's founder, Marty Griffin (see the links below to related stories). Marty's a proponent of parents having their children vaccinated against HPV, the Human Papillomavirus, which doctors believe caused his throat cancer that was diagnosed last August. By the way, one of the vaccinations Ethan got was the HPV shot.

Click here for what people are saying to Ethan on his Facebook page. And if you'd like to join in a discussion on this topic, comment below.

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