Amidst Measles Outbreak, Kids Seek Vaccination on Their Own

FILE- This Feb. 6, 2015, file photo shows a measles vaccine is shown on a countertop at the Tamalpais Pediatrics clinic in Greenbrae, Calif. The Australian government has ramped up pressure on parents who oppose vaccination by threatening to withhold child care and other payments from families that fail to immunize their children. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

There’s a measles outbreak across America, and kids are taking their health into their own hands.

With 22 cases in the metro Detroit area since March 13, this is the biggest outbreak of the disease in Michigan in 25 years, according to MLive.  Rockland County New York has banned unvaccinated minors from public places until their outbreak has passed, with 153 cases reported since the outbreak began six months ago. New York City has seen 181 cases in the same time period. Three counties in Northern California have measles. There have been at least eight new cases in New Jersey in the last week. In all, 15 states have reported cases of measles so far this year. The Center for Disease Control says that measles could top 300 cases by the end of 2019.

What are minors supposed to do when they want to be protected from an easily preventable disease like measles, but their parents won’t protect them? Kids are taking to reddit to find out how to get vaccinated without parental consent.

Danny691261 posted:

I am writing because I am the 15 year old son of an anti-vaccine parent. I have spent the last 4 years trying to convince my mother that vaccines are safe. I haven’t succeeded. So instead I am trying to research how to be vaccinated without my mother’s consent.

GoCommitYeet asked:

I haven’t got vaccines since elementary school, Dad fell down the conspiracy theory rabbit hole, and my Mom agrees with him. Any and all advice is appreciated.

However, they pretty much have to wait until they turn 18 and can choose vaccinations on their own.

One other Redditor did just that. Ethan Lindenberger’s original post began

My parents are kind of stupid and don’t believe in vaccines. Now that I’m 18, where do I go to get vaccinated? Can I get vaccinated at my age?

As the title explains, my parents think vaccines are some kind of government scheme. 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. But, i’m a senior in high school now with a car, a license, and money of my own. I’d assume that I can get them on my own but I’ve just never had a conversation with anyone about the subject. I’m also afraid I’d go somewhere that up charges vaccines way more than somewhere just down the street. Any advice would be awesome.

He followed up:

Edit 2: I have an appointment in a few weeks to get my shots! My mom was especially angry but my dad said because I’m 18 he doesn’t care that much. Although my moms trying to convince me to not do it and saying I don’t care about her, I know that this is something I need to do regardless.

Lindenberger’s post went viral and he ended up testifying before Congress earlier this month. He said “For my mother, her love and affection and care as a parent was used to push an agenda to create a false distress.”

Watch his testimony here: