Medicine

Unvaccinated students not to attend school

Unvaccinated students not to attend school

The 2017 law aims to combat the rising number of measles cases across the country by mandating that school students receive 10 difference vaccinations.

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

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.

Nursery school and kindergarten programs will not accept children ages 6 and below unless their immunizations can be verified, the outlet said.

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.

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

The new Italian law has proved controversial. A recent report from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control found that Italy reported 165 cases of measles in January 2019, one of the highest numbers in Europe. "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". Monday marked the first day schools could turn away students.

There have been protests over the law changes around vaccinations in Italy.

The city of Bologna reportedly has at least 300 children who now do not comply with the vaccination requirements and are at risk of suspension from school. At present, this target is not being achieved (it is now around 80 percent), said health officials.

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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