It’s never too late to vaccinate – as one woman showed on Reddit after getting her shots in her 20s
A post on Reddit has gone viral after a woman shared a picture of her brand new vaccination records. She explained that she grew up in an anti-vax household, and only recently had the freedom to break away from her parents’ beliefs.
“My parents denied me vaccinations as a child,” she wrote. “Today, I was finally able to take my health into my own hands!”
The post, which has more than 175,000 up-votes and 5.6 thousand comments, is a celebration of someone gaining bodily autonomy after a childhood spent being denied such basic health care.
The woman, whose handle is ToddmanHorseboy, is in her mid-20s, explained in the comments, as well as in a subsequent Ask Me Anything (AMA) session. She also says she grew up in a religious family with parents who believed that vaccines caused autism – so she and her siblings never received any. Not even when her brother got whooping cough, or when everyone caught the flu year after year, did their stance switch to the side of science.
She also explained that being homeschooled until college, and never being exposed to the outside world, caused her to get a serious illness in adulthood that she should have been exposed to in grade school, which has led to a number of health problems.
What finally made her sway her opinion?
“Articles about the autism claims being incorrect (and the man losing his license for publishing that), and reading statistics. Facts were the most persuasive argument,” she said in a comment.
She also said that being a part of strengthening herd immunity was extremely important to her.
The woman received vaccines for hepatitis A, hepatitis B, tetanus, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), chickenpox and human papillomavirus (HPV). She said she was feeling a few common flu-like symptoms after her shots, but that she was relaxing with her cat and some video games while she recovered.
She also noted that she didn’t get a lollipop.
She was met with thousands of positive responses, from those who were just simply happy that she could make her own medical choices now, to those with immunity issues who were grateful that she was helping the community at large protect itself from preventable disease.
While the response to the picture was overwhelmingly positive, it wasn’t without critics. A Reddit administrator posted that the post had been reported numerous times for invalid reasons – adding, “This post does not break any rules, and vaccinations are not bad.”
As for how her parents feel about her choice? She hasn’t gotten around to telling them yet.
“My mom tried calling me a few times today (we keep in touch), but I told her I was busy and I had to go to the doctor,” she said in a comment. “Now, of course, she probably thinks I’m pregnant because I wouldn’t tell her why I was going to the doctor. Lol. I’ll tell her soon… still just wanting to enjoy it and not have her feelings about it ruin my high.”
The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, told Inverse in an interview that she started thinking about getting immunized when talking to her boyfriend about starting a family – and wanting that family to be safe and healthy. She also said that she doesn’t feel like it will have long-term ramifications with her familial relationships.
“I feel good about the independence. It doesn’t seem like it will damage our relationship, she knows I get to make this choice myself now. I am thankful for that,” she says. “I think my parents were doing what they thought was best for us.”
As for what she wants other adult children of anti-vaxxers to know?
“I just want those people to know it is not as scary as I thought it would be,” she told the publication. “Talking to my doctor was the first step.”