Italy bans unvaccinated children from attending school

Leslie Hanson
March 13, 2019

Italian children have been told not to turn up to school unless they can prove that they have been properly vaccinated. The 2017 law aims to combat the rising number of measles cases across the country by mandating that school students receive 10 difference vaccinations.

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.

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 mandatory vaccinations include chickenpox, polio, mumps, rubella, and - perhaps most crucially at this time - measles.

And while children of school age, which in Italy is six and above, can not be turned away, schools will reserve the right to impose a fine of up to €500 (A$800).

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. The waiver was heavily criticised by the scientific and medical community, which said it could reverse progress made in boosting Italy's vaccination rates in recent years.

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

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

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.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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