Unvaccinated children in Italy banned from preschool under new law

Alicia Farmer
March 14, 2019

If a child under age 6 has not been vaccinated, they will not able to attend kindergartens or schools. The consequences for failing to comply with the legislation reportedly varies depending on how old the child is.

Italian children lacking proof that they have been vaccinated were turned away from nurseries on Tuesday after the country's populist coalition reversed its previously sceptical stance on the need for compulsory jabs.

And fines as high as roughly $560 could also be implemented if older children - ages 6 through 16 - are unvaccinated, according to the BBC.

The last day for parents to turn in vaccine documents was Monday.

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

The BBC wrote that the law was passed to bolster flagging Italian vaccination rates, which is in part due to a growing movement of anti-vaccination activists (widely known as antiaxxers).

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"Now everyone has had time to catch up", Health Minister Giulia Grillo told La Repubblica.

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

These include vaccinations for chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella.

Across the world, health authorities are grappling with a global resurgence of measles, with record numbers recorded in Europe and deadly outbreaks in the Philippines and Madagascar.

According to the Times, the current Italian government is working on a confusing plan to introduce "flexible obligation", in which immunization would only be mandatory if rates dipped below herd immunity levels.

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