Italy changes laws over unvaccinated children attending school

An Italian doctor checks a syringe before vaccinating a child in Rome

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

Those aged between six and 16 can not be banned from attending school, however their parents do face fines for not following the mandatory course of vaccinations.

The two parties that make up Italy's government - The League and the Five Star Movement - had criticised the policy of compulsory vaccinations, both before and after they came to power last summer. However, the B.C. government has said that it is only planning to require mandatory reporting of vaccination status in the upcoming school year.

"Italy's measles vaccine coverage was par with Namibia, lower than Ghana", San Raffaele University microbiology and virology professor Roberto Burioni told CNN a year ago.

Under the "Lorenzin law", parents had until March 10, 2019, to provide documentation showing their child had been inoculated with a number of vaccinations, as reported by RAI News, Italy's national public broadcaster. It also fines parents of children between 6 and 16 years old about $560 if they can not prove their children have been vaccinated.

"No vaccine, no school", health minister Giulia Grillo said, per the BBC. The mandatory vaccinations include chickenpox, polio, mumps, rubella, and - perhaps most crucially at this time - measles.

In Bologna, suspension letters were sent to the parents of 300 children.

While immunization rates hovered around 80 per cent in 2017, when the law was passed, the Times added, the country now is nearing (and in some areas has already met) the World Health Organization target of 95 per cent.

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