Italian parents could be fined for sending unvaccinated children to school

Alicia Farmer
March 13, 2019

The legislation follows months of debate over compulsory vaccination and came amid a surge in measles cases. "Now, children who are not vaccinated will endanger other children at school who are too small for vaccines or can not be vaccinated because they suffer from immunosuppressive diseases".

Parents of older children could be fined up to $800 if they don't comply and children under six could be turned away from school, the BBC ha reported.

Italian schools have begun turning away children who have not received mandatory vaccinations after a temporary waiver expired, the New York Times reported on Tuesday, with at least 300 children told they could not attend kindergarten in the city of Bologna this week.

"No vaccine, no school", health minister Giulia Grillo told La Republica newspaper.

Some children were denied entry to schools on Tuesday but the numbers appeared to be modest. It's unclear how many children will face suspensions from schools nationwide. However, the B.C. government has said that it is only planning to require mandatory reporting of vaccination status in the upcoming school year.

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In British Columbia, which is now experiencing a small measles outbreak, parents started a petition calling for mandatory vaccinations to attend school.

Historically, pro-vaccination schemes have been met with scepticism in Italy.

Parents were given a deadline to provide proof of vaccination for five different conditions: chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.

While immunization rates hovered around 80 per cent in 2017, when the law was passed, the Times added, the country now is nearing (and in some areas has already met) the World Health Organization target of 95 per cent.

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