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A measles epidemic is spreading in a Washington county known for not choosing to vaccinate its children, and health officials have declared a public health emergency.
USA TODAY

An Ohio teenager who has never been vaccinated for childhood illnesses because of her parents' decisions, is choosing to get the preventive shots now at 6pm.

Ethan Lindenberger Norwalk, Ohio, contacted Reddit users two months ago asked if they could be vaccinated as an adult.

"My parents think that vaccines are a kind of government scheme … I've never been vaccinated for anything, God only knows how I'm still alive," he wrote. He asked "where am I going to get vaccinated? Can I be vaccinated at my age?"

He told Good Morning America that he never received vaccines for hepatitis, poliomyelitis, measles, mumps, rubella or varicella.

"I saw that there were many people with different opinions, and while I was exploring those opinions, I came to the conclusion that they were good and beneficial," Lindenberger told GMA.

His mother, Jill Wheeler, who has other unvaccinated children, told GMA she was "shocked" when she heard her son's decision.

Since then Lindenberger has received vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza and HPV, according to data obtained from Washington Send.

Other: What to know about the measles epidemic, which affects over 50 hotspots in Washington anti-vaccination

People who choose not to vaccinate have become a global health threat 2019, the World Health Organization reported. The CDC recognized that the number of children who are not vaccinated at 24 months is gradually increasing

More than 50 people, mostly unvaccinated children, have recently been infected with measles during a health emergency in the Clark County, Washington, a well-known anti-vaccination hot spot. The two-dose measles vaccine is 97% effective against the virus, according to the CDC.

On Friday, Washington lawmakers heard testimony about a bill that would remove the ability of parents to choose their school-age children from the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine.

Other: A quarter of all kindergartens in this county of Washington are not immunized. Now there's a measles crisis

Other: Roald Dahl's heartbreaking letter about her daughter's measles death resonates in Washington's explosion

Other: Hundreds of protests against the Washington State vaccine law that would require measles shots

Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

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