Amid measles outbreak, some unvaccinated teens are seeking ways to get their shots

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By Shamard Charles, M.D. and Caroline Radnofsky

Some teenagers who have never been vaccinated against diseases such as measles or chickenpox are questioning the anti-vaccine movement, even as health officials condemn parents who chose not to vaccinate their children for a measles outbreak in 10 states.

One of those teens is Mayci, an 18-year-old from Augusta, Georgia who went to Reddit for advice on vaccination after hearing about the measles outbreak.

Mayci — who asked that her last name not be included because she’s worried about upsetting her mother — had never had a vaccine. The reason? Her mother’s position, ‘vaccines are bad, this is something we don’t do, leave it alone,’ the teen told NBC News.

“At the time I was born, both of my parents agreed on anti-vaccination,” Mayci said. “Almost a year and a half ago, I moved out of my mother’s house and in with my dad. My dad has a pretty neutral view on vaccinations, but when I was born he essentially just agreed with my mom and her family’s beliefs.”

On Monday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed 101 cases of measles. Fifty-five of those were in Washington state, the epicenter of the outbreak. Almost all of the cases occurred in children younger than 10 whose parents had chosen not to vaccinate them.