Italy bans unvaccinated children from attending school

Italy bans unvaccinated children from school

Rome - Italian children have been told not to turn up to school unless they can prove they have been properly vaccinated.

The required vaccinations are polio, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, pertussis, measles, rubella, mumps, chicken pox and Haemophilus influenzae type B. The consequences for failing to comply with the legislation reportedly varies depending on how old the child is.

Under the law, children over six can not be banned from school but their parents will be fined up to €500 (£425).

In British Columbia, which is now experiencing a small measles outbreak, parents started a petition calling for mandatory vaccinations to attend school. Despite political pressure to extend the deadline, Health Minister Giulia Grillo kept it at March 11, saying "No vaccine, no school".

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Italian children lacking proof that they have been vaccinated were turned away from nurseries on Tuesday after the country's populist coalition reversed its previously sceptical stance on the need for compulsory jabs. Italian media report that regional authorities are handling the situation in a number of different ways.

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.

Some are sending letters of suspension to families, but in some areas there have been no reported cases and in others there has been a longer grace period to get up to date with the schedule.

According to the Times, the current Italian government is working on a confusing plan to introduce "flexible obligation", in which immunization would only be mandatory if rates dipped below herd immunity levels. With rates below 80 percent, the country lags far behind the World Health Organization's 95 percent target. His immune system was compromised as he was recovering from leukaemia.

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