Children of the anti-vaxxers

img-1While growing numbers of Americans are deciding that it’s better to risk their children contracting terrible diseases to avoid imaginary, scientifically debunked risks of vaccination, it turns out that children are often smarter than their parents and will go get vaccinated as soon as they legally can. When that is depends on their state’s laws; vaccinations are considered a medical procedure so in many cases, these young people are stuck unless they can convince parents who’ve already demonstrated difficulties with understanding risks and clinical data to let them do it.

This story looks at one such young man, who has now turned 18 and is getting caught up on his vaccinations.

For her part, Lindenberger’s mother says her son’s decision to seek out vaccinations for himself felt like an insult. “I did not immunize him because I felt it was the best way to protect him and keep him safe,” Wheeler said of her son, calling his decision “a slap in the face.”

“It was like him spitting on me,” she continued, “saying ‘You don’t know anything, I don’t trust you with anything. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You did make a bad decision and I’m gonna go fix it.’”

Well… yeah. That seems like a pretty accurate assessment. (The story continues on with mom’s thoughts about the polio vaccine, which are – surprise! – based on bad history and poor understanding of what the polio vaccine actually is.)

Americans have now lived in comfort and safety long enough that we’ve lost a lot of appreciation for the things that protect us, and the severity of things we’re protected from. I fear that it will take some pretty terrible outcomes for us to wise up.

 

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