The rise of anti-vaxxers has resulted in a major measles outbreak in the state of Washington. Dozens of children have been infected in what is a known hotspot for people who don’t believe in vaccinations, causing a state of emergency to be declared over the outbreak. The argument that vaccines cause autism has been running rife for years, despite no medical or scientific evidence pointing to that fact.
Now dozens of confirmed cases of measles have resulted in the conversation about vaccinations and the danger of the anti-vaxxer attitude has been given new life. Part of that conversation has been sparked by the children of anti-vaxxers, who have turned to the internet in desperation as they look for a way to get vaccinated without their parents’ knowledge or consent, according to Fatherly.
Most of them have taken to Reddit with their questions.
“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,” one teen posted. “I haven’t succeeded. So instead I am trying to research how to be vaccinated without my mother’s consent,” the teen added.
Another 13-year-old also took to the social media platform with her question.
“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.”
According to Fatherly, both of these questions were posted on the subreddit group /r/legaladvice.
All the medical evidence points to the fact that vaccines have no major side effects — despite one person over two decades ago claiming, without any proof, that vaccinations cause autism — and that the advent of these prophylactic medications has served only to save millions of lives and eradicate some deadly diseases.
Many of the teens who are now asking questions about getting vaccinated without parental consent have parents who were starting to think about having children when those false claims about the dangers of vaccines were made public, resulting in skeptical parents.
Now those kids have grown up, and having done their own research online, have realized the dangers their parents are so concerned about are actually non-existent.
Unfortunately, legally, there isn’t much these children can do about it. Some states allow teens from the age of 16 to have confidential doctor’s appointments without having to get their parents’ consent. Other states still insist they must be at least 18 years old. Luckily, although also a medical procedure, there are 15 states that allow teens to give consent for vaccinations, according to vaxopedia.org.