Anti-vaxxers' kids seek ways to get immunizations on their own

As anti-vaccination movements rise during dangerous disease outbreaks, teenagers of parents against vaccines, or anti-vaxxers, are seeking their own treatments, according to The Washington Post.

Ethan Lindenberger, an 18-year-old from Ohio, was frustrated by his mother's anti-vaccination stance and went to Reddit to get advice on how to protect himself against infectious disease. Mr. Lindenberger said he wanted to get vaccinated but did not know how.

"This generation of unvaccinated children coming of age has looked at the science and [wants] to protect themselves," said Allison Winnike, president and CEO of the Immunization Partnership, a nonprofit vaccine advocacy group.

Anti-vaccination efforts increased after a now-debunked 1998 study linked immunizations to autism, Ms. Winnike said.

"Now you're seeing children coming of age, out from a cloud of misinformation," Ms. Winnike told the Post.

This transformation has happened online. At least three self-described U.S. teenagers recently told Reddit their parents are opposed to vaccination and they fear for their health if they fail to act.

Mr. Lindenberger's Reddit post drew more than 1,200 comments, including one from someone claiming to be a nurse, who offered information on navigating healthcare.

After Mr. Lindenberger reviewed scientific papers, journals and CDC studies on vaccines, he decided to get vaccinated for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza and HPV, according to a shot record viewed by the Post.

Mr. Lindenberger said he has seen more discussion online about teenagers emboldened to make their own health decisions and pursue vaccinations.

He said that to empower more teenagers to get immunized, states should lower the age of consent needed for vaccinations rather than push for stricter immunization laws.

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