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Vaccine debate hits Capitol Hill

Posted at 2:05 PM, Mar 05, 2019

An Ohio teenager who gained national attention for going against his mother’s anti-vaccine beliefs shared his story on Capitol Hill Tuesday.

High school senior Ethan Lindenberger told a Senate committee how he pursued scientific facts about vaccines and made the decision to become fully inoculated when he turned 18, defying his mother, who Ethan says developed strong anti-vaccine views largely from social media.

“For my mother, her love and affection and care as a parent was used to push an agenda to create a false distress, and these sources, which spread misinformation, should be the primary concern of the American people,” Lindenberger testified.

The testimony came amid ongoing outbreaks of measles, a vaccine-preventable disease.

So far in 2019, the Centers for Disease Control has reported 206 cases of measles in 11 states, with outbreaks in Illinois, New York, Texas, and Washington state.

Tuesday’s Senate hearing had one voice of dissent, Senator Rand Paul, who did not ask questions of the panel of doctors and experts. Instead, he used the time to argue against mandatory vaccinations.

“I believe the benefits of vaccines greatly outweigh the risks, but I still do not favor giving up on liberty for a false sense of security,” Paul said.

Meanwhile, yet another huge study has once again debunked the claim that there is any link between the vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella and autism.

Frustrated medical experts say that unfounded theory compels some parents to listen to fear, rather than fact.