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It's crucial to counter fraudulent social media information about vaccines that alarms parents, says the U.S. teen who started getting vaccinated against his mother's wishes when he turned 18.
Speaking before Congress on Tuesday, Ethan Lindenberger of Norwalk, Ohio, said his mother believed online conspiracies about vaccines, leaving him and his siblings vulnerable to vaccine-preventable diseases, the Associated Press reported.
"I grew up under my mother's beliefs that vaccines are dangerous," Lindenberger told a Senate health committee. He said he'd show his mother scientific studies but she instead relied on illegitimate sources that "instill fear into the public."
Last December, Lindenberger defied his mother and began catching up on his missed vaccinations.
It's important to "to inform people about how to find good information" about vaccinations and to remind them how dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases are, he told the committee.
The hearing was held as the U.S. faces a number of outbreaks of measles, which can be prevented by vaccination. So far this year, there have been more than 200 cases in 11 states, the AP reported.
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