Children aged six and under who have not been vaccinated banned from schools in Italy
JC News|March. 13, 2019
Young children who have not been vaccinated have been banned from attending schools in Italy after a surge in measles cases.
Children up to the age of six will be excluded unless their parents can prove they have had their jabs under the Lorenzin law, named after the former health minister who introduced it.
Parents will be fined up to £425 if those over six, who cannot be banned from attending, have not been protected against measles, mumps, and rubella, among other vaccinations.
Health Minister Giulia Grillo told La Repubblica: "Now everyone has had time to catch up. No vaccine, no school.”p>
In Bologna, around 300 children have been suspended, with 5,000 found to have out of date documents.
According to EU health officials, 165 measles cases were reported in January – almost twice as many as the previous month.
The law came after it was revealed that Italy’s vaccination rate was below 80 per cent, despite a World Health Organisation target of 95 per cent.
It is the threshold at which “herd immunity” kicks in, making the spread of diseases unlikely and protecting those unable to receive vaccinations for medical reasons.
The anti-vaccine movement has grown in popularity since 2000, aided by the rise in social media.
More than 100 cases of measles were confirmed in the US last month, leaving teenagers scrambling to get themselves vaccinated after their parents had refused.
The movement has also caused an "alarming drop" in the number of children in London having the MMR jab, with just 81.2 per cent of children receiving the first immunisation by age two.
Many parents in the movement fear that vaccinations can cause autism, despite Andrew Wakefield's paper linking the two having been discredited.
Health professionals called on Facebook to halt the rise of groups promoting the movement after the World Health Organisation listed “vaccine hesitancy” as one of 2019’s top global health threats.