Vaccines are given to almost every child in America. Most schools these days require their students to be vaccinated to prevent an epidemic; however, parents do have the option to refuse vaccinations for “philosophical” or “religious” purposes. Ethan Lindenberger, the child of one of these anti-vaccination parents, stood in front of the Senate this week to warn everyone of the perils they are exposing their children to by choosing to not vaccinate.
From birth to the age of eighteen, Lindenberger went without vaccines until he decided that enough was enough. Against his mother’s wishes, he went and got himself vaccinated. He spoke of how his mother always believed that vaccines were the government’s way of eliminating children. These certain beliefs are shared by a surprising amount of parents, due to being given false information.
The influence social media has on these parents and their views on vaccinations is astounding. Lindenberger’s mother became another victim of being duped by the lies of social media. A majority of her information, according to Lindenberger, came from the anti-vaccine groups that run rampant on Facebook. Stories of these mothers who prevent their kids from receiving vaccines, despite their wishes to get them, have built communities on these social media platforms. It’s a haven for them to spread their beliefs on the subject.
Vaccinations are an important part of society. Without them, we’d have diseases that people died from years and years ago. There is no reason for a child to die from mumps or measles because of their parent’s refusal to get them vaccinated.
There have been cases of vaccinations causing harm to children when doctors overload kids with them. Children can have allergic reactions and sometimes other diseases occur from them. But, these cases are far and few. When researching vaccines on sources other than Facebook or Instagram, some of these anti-vaccine parents would find that the good vaccines do for children outweighs the bad.