This outbreak prompted doctors to warn about the importance of vaccinations because diseases like the Measles can mean life or death for people who can't get the vaccine.
"I had grown up with my mom and she had been very vocal about her opinions on vaccines and how she felt they were risky and caused very bad side effects", Ethan Lindenberger, an 18-year-old pro-vaxxer from OH told Fox and Friends on Monday.
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.
Wheeler told online science magazine Undark that her son's decision felt like a "slap in the face". You don't know what you're talking about.
"I looked into it, it was clear there was way more evidence in defense of vaccines", he said.
As the worst measles outbreak in NY state in decades rages on, health officials have launched an "aggressive, multi-pronged" attack against the disease that has sickened more than 200 people in five months.
The outbreak highlighted "just how important it is it is for everyone in the community to get vaccinated", he said.
Lindenberger said that his mother has tried to convince him to stop getting vaccines, but to no avail.
But it wasn't until speaking with friends that he realized he was the only one out of his peer group to not have had the life-saving vaccinations. Measles vaccination rates at the outbreak's epicenter are now up by 500 percent, and lawmakers in Washington are proposing a bill that would no longer allow parents to cite philosophical or personal reasons for not vaccinating their child.
Since fall 2018, at least 204 people have become ill with the highly contagious and potentially deadly disease, which a vaccine can prevent.
"As the child of anti-vaxxer parents, what vaccines should I get now as an adult?" one user wrote. When we don't see the devastation caused by vaccine-preventable diseases on a daily basis, some people discount the vital need to keep their families safe by vaccinating them'.
Wheeler. who said that records showing Ethan getting two shots in 2002 are mistaken, that he only got a shot for tetanus after he cut himself, has some odd ideas of her own, asserting, "Polio, if you really research polio, it was nearly completely eradicated, nearly gone, there was nearly no cases of polio when they introduced the oral vaccine".
For most of his life, Lindenberger thought it was normal for most kids not to get immunized, but about two years ago he began to see how the posts about vaccines his own mother was sharing on social media were risky. He told NPR that his mother remained defiant, saying, "That's what they want you to think".
'I was just blown away that you know, the largest health organization in the entire world would be written off with a kind of conspiracy theory-like statement like that'. "But, due to their beliefs I've never been vaccinated for anything, god knows how I'm still alive".
Lindenberger said he listened to what his mother told him about vaccines while growing up and believed it was common practice.
Since Ethan is now legally an adult his parents can not stop him from getting vaccinations. His 16-year-old brother, who is now considering also getting his shots, will have to wait.