Ethan, a teenager from Ohio, traveled to Washington, DC to explain to the Senate how he made an informed choice to get himself vaccinated at age eighteen, after growing up unvaccinated due to online disinformation that he believes was the cause of his mother’s opposition to vaccines.
Ethan is a new face in the immunization community. Growing up, Ethan’s parents didn’t believe in vaccines, telling their children that vaccinations are some kind of “government scheme”. As a result, neither Ethan nor his siblings were vaccinated (aside from Ethan’s one tetanus shot) to protect against any of the dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases, putting them at risk for many serious illnesses.
Ethan decided to do his own research on vaccinations, and tried to provide his mother with scientific, credible information about vaccines in hopes of changing her mind. Unfortunately, she could not be convinced. But when Ethan turned 18 years old, he made an informed choice and decided to get himself vaccinated. He turned to Reddit to help him find out where he could go to get affordable vaccinations.
Ethan is now up-to-date on his vaccinations, and his brave and informed choice to get vaccinated against his parents’ wishes has been featured by a variety of media outlets including The Washington Post, NBC News, USA Today, Good Morning America, and many others. In his interview with Good Morning America, Ethan stated, “I saw that there were a lot of people with different opinions, and as I explored those opinions, I came to the conclusion that they were good and beneficial.”
Ethan was asked by the Senate’s Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) to testify during their March 5, 2019 hearing – Vaccines Save Lives: What Is Driving Preventable Disease Outbreaks? In his YouTube video, prior to the hearing, Ethan says that he’s looking forward to speaking at the Senate’s hearing about “outbreaks of preventable diseases as well as addressing misinformation that causes these outbreaks.”
Watch the video clip from The Today Show on March 6, 2019 talking about Ethan’s testimony at the Senate HELP Committee hearing on Capitol Hill.