Italy bans unvaccinated children from attending school

Unvaccinated children in Italy banned from preschool under new law

The situation has worsened to the extent that the World Health Organization (WHO) has declared anti-vaccination stances as one of the top ten global health threats of 2019.

To combat the movement, the Italian government is now taking bold steps to ensure children are vaccinated.

Children under six can be turned away while any attending school between the age of 6 and 16 will result in their parents being fined 500 euros ($564 dollars).

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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. Italy's health minister, Giulia Grillo told La Repubblica newspaper that people were given ample time to get their ward's vaccinated and update the immunization records. The study has long since been discredited but the confidence on vaccines has been damaged to a great extent.

"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.

According to the BBC, the local authority in Bologna has already sent letters of suspension to the parents of approximately 300 kindergarten children and around 5,000 don't have up-to-date vaccination documentation.

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On Monday the Italian health authority released figures claiming a national immunisation rate at or very close to 95 percent of children born in 2015. There have been 165 measles cases this January in the European Union and previous year there were 78 cases of vaccine-preventable infections, say reports. Since yesterday, it has come into being.

The Lorenzin Law, named after the country's former health minister, says that children must have mandatory chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps and rubella vaccinations before they start school.

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