Ethan Lindenberger found out his parents refused to vaccinate him—so he asked the internet for help.
“I’m just a normal kid who when I turned 18 I decided to pursue vaccinations, despite a mom who’s really misinformed and kind of openly anti-vax,” he said.
Two year ago, Lindenberger was 16, he began to question his parents’ stance on vaccinations. He said his parents believed that certain vaccines could cause autism. This claim is frequently refuted by the World Health Organization.
He and his four siblings were never vaccinated for diseases like hepatitis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, and chickenpox, some of which can be deadly.
Lindenberger started doing research and presenting his findings to his parents, but nothing seemed to work. So in 2018, he turned to Reddit to ask for help.
More than 1,000 commenters responded, offering advice and personal stories. Some offered to help him navigate the legalities and logistics, which are different in every state. In many states, minors can consent to hepatitis B shots without parental approval but must wait until they are 18 for other vaccinations. Lindenberger finally got his vaccinations after his 18th birthday.
The teen says he and his parents are now on good terms but it took them awhile to get there.