As countries throughout the world cope with the rise in “anti-vax” sentiment, children in Italy have been banned from attending school unless they can prove they’ve been vaccinated.
The New Anti-Vax Law
The new law states it clear that if your kids aren’t vaccinated, they won’t be allowed in school or receive education services across Italy.
So, parents who have kids under the age of six are required to provide immunization proof. Otherwise, their children stay at home.
The Penalty and Fines
If unvaccinated children between the age of six and 18 attend school, their parents risk being fined up to €500 (£425; $560).
The deadline for parents and children to comply with the new anti-vax law was in March 10,2019, though citizens were given an extra day with that date having fallen on a Sunday.
The new ordinance came after a surge in measles cases. Since the imposition of the law, Italian officials reported vaccination rates improved.
Variety of Immunizations
Under Italy’s Lorenzin law, which was named after former health minister, Beatrice Lorenzin, all children must be immunized to be allowed in school.
The mandatory immunization includes vaccinations for highly contagious diseases, such as chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella.
No Vaccine, No School!
Health Minister Giulia Grillo told La Repubblica Newspaper:
“Now everyone has had time to catch up.”
Deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, pleaded for an extension of March 10 deadline. But Giulia Grillo refused to change the dates claiming that new anti-vax rules are just simple, “No vaccine, no school.”
Parents of over 300 Children Received Suspension Letters
According to local authorities, nearly 300 out of 5,000 kids were suspended from school in Bologna for lack of up-to-date immunization documents.
Does the New Law Have an Effect?
The law was intended to raise the country’s vaccination rates from below 80 percent to the World Health Organization’s 95 percent. It was also aimed at preventing major disease outbreaks such as measles.
Measles has been a significant concern as the disease is highly contagious. It can also trigger other illnesses, such as brain damage and pneumonia.
Before immunization of measles was introduced in the 1960s, the disease used to cause extreme epidemics every two or three years. And 95 percent of kids had it by the time they were on their 15th birthday.
But the numbers of children contracting the disease have considerably reduced in recent years. So far, in 2019, the CDC confirmed 228 cases in the States. In 2018, there were 372 cases.