Teen defies mother, gets vaccines after turning 18

An MMR vaccine. Credit PA

An MMR vaccine. Credit PA

According to an investigation by KREM-TV, teens under the age of majority are generally prohibited from obtaining shots without their parents' permission in the U.S. There are, however, some exceptions under what is referred to as the "mature minor doctrine", where teens who can prove a certain level of independence such as being emancipated or pregnant, for instance - and are able to find a health care provider willing to give them the shots knowing they could be sued. He wrote: "God knows how I'm still alive".

This elicited a flood of unvaccinated children and teens to take to the internet asking how they could circumnavigate their parents' wishes and have themselves vaccinated, for fear of their own health.

After he discovered that most people get vaccines, Ethan researched the issue, later offering his mother evidence he hoped would change her mind, including a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

'I'm also afraid I'd go somewhere that up charges vaccines way more than somewhere just down the street.

"My 16-year-old says, you know, 'I haven't made a concrete decision; I'm not sure what I believe or what I want.' My 14-year-old is saying, 'I believe what you believe, mom, '" she continued.

'But, I'm a senior in high school now with a vehicle, a licence, and money of my own.

Lindenberger says he was vaccinated for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, HPV and influenza during his first visit to the county health department and has more vaccinations scheduled for later this month.

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He says the only shot he received, tetanus, as a toddler was out of necessity.

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

At least 56 people in Washington and Oregon have contracted measles - a potentially deadly disease for children - in an outbreak near Portland, Oregon, triggering a public health emergency in neighboring Clark County, Washington.

Meanwhile, children across the United States are at increasing risk of contracting diseases because of parents refusing to get their children vaccinated. Minnesota is a state where guardians can opt out of required vaccinations if they philosophically object to them.

Travellers at Pearson International Airport in Mississauga, Ont., were warned last week that people who were in the airport's Terminal One for a four-hour period on January 27, may have contracted the disease.

Last year, Ethan asked for advice on how to get vaccinated on Reddit.

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