Parents sending unimmunised children to school despite warnings

A protestor speaks out against mandatory vaccination in Italy in July 2017. Italy's mandatory vaccination law came into effect in March 2019

Parents sending unimmunised children to school despite warnings

New data from Italy's health ministry suggests that the laws are making a difference, with 94 per cent of children having at least one dose of the measles vaccine in June 2018, up two per cent in just six months as parents may have vaccinated their children in anticipation of the new requirements.

Much like OR and Washington, Italy has been experiencing a measles outbreak due to unvaccinated children.

Older children can attend school without being fully vaccinated, but parents face fines of 100 to 500 euros (C$151-754), and local health authorities will then schedule vaccinations for the children to make sure they get caught up.

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

The new Italian law has proved controversial. Luigi Gaetti (L) and and Giulia Grillo, representatives of the Five Star Movement (M5S) arrive for a press point following a meeting with Italy's President Sergio Mattarella on December 10, 2016 at the Quirinale Palace in Rome. There have been 165 measles cases this January in the European Union and previous year there were 78 cases of vaccine-preventable infections, say reports.

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

Cracking down on parents unable to produce the documents, Bologna, the largest city of the Emilia-Romagna Region in Northern Italy, barred more than 300 children failing to present immunization records, from attending school.

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

On Monday - the last day for parents to provide documentation proving their children had been properly vaccinated - the Italian health authority released figures claiming a national immunisation rate at or very close to 95% for children born in 2015, depending on which vaccine was being discussed. Such a low rate adversely affects herd immunity that prevents the spread of infection.

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