Ethan Lindenberger’s Brother Isaac Says He’s No Longer an Anti-Vaxxer

Ethan Lindenberger’s Brother Isaac Says He’s No Longer an Anti-Vaxxer August 11, 2019
Isaac Lindenberger with his mom Jill.

Ethan Lindenberger’s brother Isaac has come out as a pro-vaccine advocate after months of denouncing Ethan’s choice to vaccinate himself despite their mother’s wishes. Isaac Lindenberger says he changed his mind after reviewing numerous studies and evidence that support the effectiveness and safety of vaccines.

In a shocking turn of events, Ethan Lindenberger’s older brother Isaac changed his mind about vaccines. Last spring, Ethan defied his mother’s wishes and obtained vaccinations at the age of 18-years-old. Ethan’s story made international headlines after he sought help from Reddit users related to receiving vaccinations.

After Ethan’s story went viral, his mother, Jill, and brother Isaac made rounds on anti-vaccine podcasts and YouTube channels denouncing Ethan’s choice to vaccinate himself. Jill and Isaac appeared on an episode of Del BigTree’s “Highwire.”

During the episode, the two discussed the dangers of vaccines. Additionally, Isaac referenced the number of supposed damages paid out for injuries related to vaccines to families in court. On social media, Isaac called out his brother for defying his mother and going against the family’s political belief system.

In an interview with WOACB, Ethan Lindenberger told us the media coverage had put a strain on his relationship with his mother and older brother. Only a few months later, Isaac has had an apparent change of heart about vaccines.

On Facebook, Isaac came out as an advocate for vaccines. Additionally, he says he will receive all his vaccinations later this week. Isaac blamed his previous statements against vaccines on the great media interest in his family’s story.

Isaac wrote,

“I’m officially coming out with my support for vaccines.

A few months ago, I got out of the debate entirely. Both sides tried to draw me in, and I wasn’t certain where I stood because I was basically just thrown into this controversy without enough time to figure things out for myself. I had originally wanted some more time to make a concrete choice, but circumstances have pressed me to act.”

According to Isaac, he will be leaving for college in the coming weeks. He will be attending Ohio State University. Rather than obtaining an exemption from the school for vaccines, Isaac says he plans to become fully vaccinated.

“I am moving away for college at The Ohio State University next week, and I was told I needed my vaccines to attend classes. I could have gone for exemptions, sure, and I did consider it. After thinking about it for some time, I decided I don’t want any exemptions.”

Additionally, Isaac insisted that he never classified himself as an “anti-vaxxer.” Instead, he says he’s against mandated vaccination by the government. Isaac said he never doubted the science related to vaccines.

During his rounds on the anti-vax circuit, Isaac says he met a lot of really lovely people. However, he realized that the people were wholly misinformed about the safety of vaccines. He noted that mounting evidence that supports vaccine safety and effectiveness is impossible to ignore.

“I’m a skeptical person. after all, I’m a psychonaut, AND I’m an anarchist. I don’t trust the government whatsoever. But evidence is convincing, especially a SEA of it. I may not trust the government, but empirical data and thousands of studies are convincing enough.”

As a result, Isaac says he will become a test case for vaccines. After receiving his vaccinations, the former anti-vaxxer says he will report any negative or positive effects from the immunizations. Additionally, he encouraged anti-vaxxers to consider the effectiveness and importance of vaccines for the wider public.

The change of heart by Isaac is a shocking twist to a story that gripped the headlines. During an interview with WOACB last spring, Ethan Lindenberger shared that his choice to vaccinate resulted in bitter fights with his mother and brother Isaac. Months later, Isaac appears to have had a shift in his belief system. Perhaps his younger brother’s experience showed him that vaccines are not as dangerous as his mother taught him to believe.

Isaac’s about-face shows that even staunch adversaries to vaccines can change their minds with evidence and education. Ethan Lindenberger’s influence is undoubtedly a part of Isaac’s decision to vaccinate.

Kudos to Isaac for taking the step to protect himself and others from preventable illness.

*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles related to trending topics and crime on her column.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Jim Jones

    Once the brain starts working, it can never be stopped.

  • Duane Locsin

    That’s great and all, but there ought to be a much simpler processes to stop being an anti-vaxxer that more people ought to be aware of

    That is taking and TRUSTING the MEDICAL ADVICE of your family doctor(s)
    over random people on Internet, pastors/preachers who have NO medical training/qualifications to diagnose you and other people who know nothing about your medical history.

    -if something goes wrong, can you or is there a process to sue your pastors or some guy on the Internet for malpractice?
    -if something goes wrong, who are you going to go to for medical treatment?

    Half the time I don’t listen to my own doctor, but I have the wherewithal to actually TRUST my doctor’s advice because they know what the hell they are talking about better than I when it comes to my health, and if something goes wrong I know I have myself to blame for the consequences.

  • Makoto

    He will report on any of the “positive effects” of the vaccinations?
    Er… the entire point of vaccines is for nothing to happen, in the ideal case. Unless he’s thinking of intentionally going to someone with measles and trying to get himself infected and doesn’t.. which still doesn’t prove anything, since even though it has a high transmission rate, it’s not 100%.

    Kid still seems like he needs to science better, but this is a positive step even so. Long, long ways to go, but it is something, I’ll give him that, and understand how hard that step could’ve been under media scrutiny. Of course, given his anti-authority views, I’m not terribly surprised he was able to escape parental pressure on this. Could even just be his rebel phase, who knows. Still, good on him for getting his shots.

  • Friend

    Good point re: reporting on positive effects.

    He might experience relief if there’s an outbreak of d1sease on campus and he knows he is both protected and protecting others.

    If he gets the HPV vaccine, he might feel good about helping to prevent particular cancers in himself and any future partner.

  • zenlike

    The stories of both brothers are heartwarming to read about in this day and age: it shows that, regardless of indoctrination from their parents (in this case, an antivax parent or parents), their kids have the ability to learn and dislodge themselves from these irrational fantasies.

  • Friend

    Most doctors work hard to deliver the best care they can. Yes, many are scared of malpractice suits, but that fear is not their primary motivator. A lot of doctors cannot be sued—patients in military hospitals, for example, cannot sue. While the quality of medicine in military hospitals does vary, a lot of military docs also go into private practice at some point in their careers, so it’s a similar population of docs with or without lawsuits.

    ETA: I’m focusing on one aspect of Duane Locsin’s comment, not challenging its main point.

  • Duane Locsin

    The point is the medical industry has regulations and processes to protect both doctors and patience, this is in stark contrast to some person taking the “medical advice” from a preacher, or fear mongerer on the Internet in that they are not accountable for the consequences of your decision making.

    It’s not difficult once you are aware of it.

    Who do you trust and choose to take advice from when it comes to your medical needs

    your family doctor or someone who does not have the medical qualifications to treat you?

  • Friend

    Totally agree, thanks.

  • RainbowPhoenix

    I hope he later cottons on to the inherent bigotry of the many-times debunked “vaccines cause autism” argument.

  • persephone

    He’s a “psychonaut” so he’s apparently been indulging in mind-altering behaviors and drugs. But, somehow, vaccines were an issue. Yeah. Okay.

    At least he shouldn’t spread any illnesses at his college.

  • ZebedeeJumps

    Slightly OT: This flight attendant was vaccinated, but, since the vaccine isn’t 100% effective, and she came into contact with unvaccinated people, she caught measles, and has sadly just died. 3 people in Israel in the last year, one baby, one elderly lady, and one young, fit woman – a member of a demographic that anti-vaxxers seem to think will just shake off the disease 🙁

  • Psychonauts — aside from being a trip of a game — tend to be all about the self-exploration, generally not a harmful thing.

    Good on him for getting vaxxed.

  • IDK, I’ve seen a few people go into reverse.