Published: Thu, March 14, 2019
Medical | By

Unvaccinated children in Italy banned from preschool under new law

Unvaccinated children in Italy banned from preschool under new law

Older children can attend school without being fully vaccinated, but parents face fines of 100 to 500 euros (C$151-754), and local health authorities will then schedule vaccinations for the children to make sure they get caught up.

This stance follows months of debate over compulsory vaccination, both in Italy and across the world.

Children under six can be barred from attending nursery schools and kindergartens if their parents fail to present written evidence that they have had the required vaccinations.

In Bologna, suspension letters were sent to the parents of 300 children.

"Italy's measles vaccine coverage was par with Namibia, lower than Ghana", commented Roberto Burioni, a professor of microbiology and virology at San Raffaele University in Milan.

But up until Tuesday, a temporary measure meant students could remain in school as long as their parents said they were vaccinated.

Children can not attend nursery schools unless they are vaccinated, and parents of elementary and middle school pupils risk fines of up to 500 euros if they don't have doctor's notes showing that their children were vaccinated against the required diseases.

"No vaccine, no school", said Giulia Grillo, the health minister.

According to the BBC, the 10 vaccines include those that immunize against chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella.

According to the BBC, Italy has fallen behind other countries in terms of vaccination rates.

The law was implemented as a response to a recent spike in measles outbreaks.

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