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The anti-vaccination movement is gaining popularity in the USA. Teenagers do vaccinations to circumvent the prohibitions of their parents

Their parents believe that vaccinations can trigger autism.

Parents are protesting against the bill, which would deprive them of the opportunity to refuse to vaccinate their children for “philosophical” reasons. Olympia, WA Photo by Associated Press
Parents are protesting against the bill, which would deprive them of the opportunity to refuse to vaccinate their children for “philosophical” reasons. Olympia, WA Photo by Associated Press

18-year-old teenager from Ohio, Ethan Lindenberger, has been vaccinated against hepatitis, despite the bans of “stupid parents.” He contacted Reddit users to learn how to inoculate.

Ethan’s post scored thousands of views, and users of the “Internet homepage” advised him to go to the Ministry of Health as soon as he turned 18 years old. Or try to use the services of one of the state vaccination programs, such as Vaccines.gov.

According to the laws of the state, Ethan is already an adult – he had the right to vaccinate without the consent of parents or guardians. Turning to the Ministry of Health, he vaccinated against hepatitis A and B, influenza and HPV.

Users of Reddit have criticized the opinion of Ethan’s parents, especially mothers – the site has a negative attitude towards the anti-vaccination movement anti-vaxx. In a conversation with the BBC, he said that his mother still did not agree with his choice and considered his act a “slap in the face”. Ethan also expressed regret that he called his mother stupid on the Internet. But the mother is still not going to vaccinate her younger children.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]When I came to Reddit, I expressed a lot of discontent with my mom. I did not think that the post will gain such popularity. I just meant that my mom is irrational. I said some things I should not have said.[/perfectpullquote]
Ethan lindenberger
post author on reddit

He added that on social networks his words were “used as a weapon against him” and that he stopped responding to critical comments in the direction of his parents. Ethan also added that he never wanted to do something behind his mother’s back, but later became convinced that this was the best choice for him and for other teenagers.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]If I have whooping cough, then I can cope with it, because I’m older and I have a good immune system. But who said that I would not accidentally infect my two-year-old sister? This is a very scary thought.[/perfectpullquote]
Ethan lindenberger
post author on reddit

According to local media and according to other posts on Reddit, cases of self-vaccination of children have increased since the beginning of 2019.

Ethan is not the only one who has been helped by the Reddit users. Other teens were recommended to check the state laws in which they reside. Different states have different laws, so in some of them, adolescents can vaccinate themselves after they have reached the age of 15.

Who are the “antivaxers”?

The anti-vaccination movement appeared soon after Edward Jenner developed thefirst smallpox vaccine in 1798. At first, arguments of opponents of vaccination were religious views, but in the modern world, their opinions are influenced by the media and social networks, the RSPH study says.

Participants in the anti-vaccination movement believe that vaccination is dangerous and can cause autism. Due to the development of the movement, the number of unvaccinated children increased , causing measles to spread in the USA, an infectious disease that killed approximately 200 million people from 1855 to 2005.

In late January 2019, a state of emergency was declared in Washington State due to an outbreak of the disease. A total of 35 cases were recorded, 24 of which were children. According to the World Health Organization, to prevent measles outbreaks, at least 95% of the population should be vaccinated.

According to the result of the State of Vaccine Confidence survey conducted in 2016 , Russia, with a level of distrust of vaccines of 28%, joined the group of “anti-vaccination countries” together with Japan, France, Ukraine and other countries.

In November 2018, the Ministry of Health announced that it was working on a bill that would ban public calls for refusal of vaccination. According to the chief infectious disease specialist of the Ministry of Health, you need to punish doctors who do not recommend vaccinating children. According to the report of Rospotrebnadzor for 2018, 39.2 million people have been vaccinated against the flu, which is 27% of the country’s population.

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