Ethan Lindenberger Testifies About Getting Vaccinated Despite Anti-Vaxxer Mother

Anti-Vaxxers Teenager refutes mother's views on vaccination in congress testimony

Lindenberger grew up without common vaccinations like those for measles and chicken pox before finally getting immunizations starting in December.

Paul, himself a former ophthalmologist, stressed that he had personally vaccinated himself and his kids, "but I still don't favor giving up on liberty for a false sense of security". He also pointed out the role social media has played in shaping the antivaccination movement.

Health experts and advocates on Tuesday called on the federal government to create a national media campaign to counter false claims about vaccine safety that have been blamed for a rise in parents opting to not vaccinate their children. But one senator, Rand Paul, (R-Ky.), struck a defiant note. In Annals of Internal Medicine on Tuesday, researchers compared vaccinated and unvaccinated tots and concluded: "Our study does not support that MMR vaccination increases the risk for autism, triggers autism in susceptible children or is associated with clustering of autism cases after vaccination". Health officials say measles are preventable and costly.

While Paul's remarks generated some audience applause, Sen.

"Now, if you believe in liberty, that's fine, don't get immunized, but I don't think you need to necessarily expose others to disease", he said.

Ethan Lindenberger, 18, spoke before Congress to tell lawmakers how important it is to spread information about the benefits of vaccination.

"I grew up understanding my mother believed vaccines are unsafe, as she would speak openly about her views both online and in person", the high schooler said Tuesday in testimony before a Senate hearing on contagious disease outbreaks.

Most importantly, Lindenberger said, was the impact Facebook's anti-vax communities had on his family.

"I feel like if my mom didn't interact with that information, and she wasn't swayed by those arguments and stories, it could've potentially changed everything", Lindenberger said.

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Lindenberger said he believed his older siblings, who pre-date Facebook, had been vaccinated.

Nationally, the United States has high measles vaccination coverage.

Not only has the USA experienced a slew of risky measles outbreaks in the past year (there have been 159 confirmed cases across 10 states) but the World Health Organization recently named vaccine hesitancy as one of the top 10 global health threats. In response, Facebook, YouTube and Pinterest recently made headlines by announcing initiatives to reduce vaccine misinformation on their platforms.

Dr. Jonathan McCullers, chair of the Department of Pediatrics at The University of Tennessee Health Science Center and Pediatrician-in-Chief at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in Memphis, told Congress at the hearing, saying one dose provides complete protection in about 93 percent of individuals, while a second dose raises that level of protection to 97 percent with very few side effects.

Seven people have caught measles in Canterbury. There are 75 people between Washington and OR who have measles and two people in Clark County are suspected of having measles but not confirmed.

Los Angeles Times: When Measles Struck, Investigators Wanted Answers.

"We are constantly reacting to crises rather than working to prevent them", Wiesman said. A month later, health investigators found out she had lied.

The disease was declared eliminated in the U.S.in 2000, which means it was not being spread domestically.

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