Vaccines: The Mattering of “Matters Into Your Own Hands”


A young man, 18-years-old, Ethan Lindenberger, has not been vaccinated, pretty much, his entire life, NPR reports.

This is becoming a common phenomenon with the rise of measles cases, for example. Lindenberger is among a cohort of young people who are simply tired of the denial of medical science, in this case, vaccines, that can put their — as young people — health as a real risk.

Now, this cohort of young people, in part, is simply going outside of the dictates of the parents in their lives and getting vaccines themselves; even though, the parents may have been deluded into anti-vaccination hysteria over the years.

It is a sincere, heartfelt, and honorable desire: to protect one’s children. But it comes at a cost when being explicitly exploited by the peddlers of what has been termed junk science, pseudoscience, and non-science depending on the framing of it.

Lindenberger, literally, is being vaccinated for diseases including “hepatitis, polio, measles, mumps, rubella, or the chickenpox.” That’s remarkable. The mother of Lindenberger, a Jill Wheeler, is an anti-vaccine advocate, which simply translates into anti-medicine or anti-science advocate based on the firm empirical basis of the efficacy of vaccinations.

This, much or all of it, started with the reiterations of a debunked study. The notion is that the vaccines themselves, somehow, “cause” rather than correlate with autism. Do vaccines cause autism? No. Do vaccines correlate with autism? As far as I know, “No.”

As some have joked, autism may increase chances of interest in science and maths; thus, autism ‘causes’ vaccines. Aside from the lighthearted sideshows, these are serious issues, of which, unfortunately, due to the negligence of the elders in these young people’s lives, the youth are having to take matters into their own hands — to, potentially, save their lives. And that’s no joke.

Photo by Sandro Gonzalez on Unsplash

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