Italy Bans Unvaccinated Children From Schools

Italy Bans Unvaccinated Children From Schools

The parents of children that have not yet been vaccinated are not allowed to send their kids to school and some even risk fines up to €500

There was a new law issued in Italy amid measles epidemic and authorities say vaccination rates have improved since it was established. It is called the Lorenzin law, named after the former health minister Beatrice Lorenzin who called for its introduction, and it says all children must receive a range of mandatory vaccines before attending school, for chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella.

The new law came into force on Tuesday after months of national debate over compulsory vaccination that was designed to combat the rise in measles cases across the country. In December last year there were reported 76 measles cases, and 165 cases this January.

Therefore, children under 6 can be turned away from nursery schools and kindergarten without proof of vaccination, meanwhile, older children between 6 and 16 cannot be banned from school, but their parents might face hefty fines of up to €500 if they do not complete the mandatory course of immunizations.

Vaccinations Rates In Italy

Italy’s vaccination rates are at below 80% compared to the World Health Organization’s 95% target, and the new law is meant to lift those rates. The 95% is the point at which “herd immunity” kicks in, meaning when enough of the population is vaccinated that the spread of the disease becomes unlikely. Thus protecting those who cannot be vaccinated, such as babies that are too young or those with medical conditions that prevent it, like with compromised immune system.

In Bologna, there were letters of suspension sent to the parents of around 300 children, while a total of 5,000 children do not have their vaccine documentation up to date. And in other areas schools are extending the deadlines and giving grace periods. An eight-year-old cancer survivor was not able to attend school in Rome last month due to his weak immune system and the risk his unvaccinated colleagues posed to his health.