An Ohio teenager defied his mother’s wishes by going to get vaccinated for the first time in his life when he turned 18.
In November, Ethan Lindenberger reached out to other users on Reddit for information on vaccines in a post that has since gone viral.
The teenager from Norwalk, Ohio wrote that his “parents are kind of stupid and don’t believe in vaccines” and he was looking for information on how to get vaccinated for diseases such as measles, polio, mumps, and chickenpox.
“My parents think vaccines are some kind of government scheme,” Lindenberger wrote. “It’s stupid and I’ve had countless arguments over the topic. But, because of their beliefs I’ve never been vaccinated for anything, God knows how I’m still alive.”
He said his mother was “especially angry” about his decision, but his father “didn’t care that much” because he’s 18 years old now.
Lindenberger’s post received more than a thousand comments with advice on how and where he should go to receive his shots.
The online advice appears to have helped because a month later Lindenberger posted an update to his original Reddit post, in which he said he had finally received his vaccines.
“The doctors and my friends have been really supportive which helped when my mom put me down and told me how disappointed she was [that] I was wanting to get my vaccines,” he wrote in January.
In an interview with CNN, Lindenberger said his conversation with his parents about him getting vaccinated was actually civil.
“It really wasn’t like I kind of raised my fist in the air and said like, ‘You idiots, I’m getting vaccinated,’” he recalled. “I sat down with them and I said, ‘This is the evidence I have’ and I presented it as best I could and they didn’t agree and once I turned 18 I said ‘Even though we disagree still, I’m going to pursue vaccinations.”
Lindenberger said it took a few more discussions about the topic for them to find some understanding and they’re now in a “great spot.”
“My parents are very happy that I’m continuing to express that the importance of vaccines is beyond just me and other people, and I’m glad to share that story,” he said.