Italy has begun to enforce mandatory vaccinations of students, according to BBC. Children under the age of six can be turned away from school if they are unvaccinated, and parents could be fined up to €500 (£425; $560) if they send their children to school without vaccinations.
The new law came following an outburst of measles. Italian officials say that the rates of vaccinations have improved since the new law was introduced. The new law is named the Lorenzin law after the former health minister who introduced it. It requires children to receive various immunizations before they attend school, including vaccinations for chickenpox, measles, mumps, and rubella, and polio.
Under the law, children will not be able to attend nursery and kindergarten if they do not have proof that they’ve been vaccinated. Children between the ages of 6 and 16 can’t be banned from school, but their parents will be fined if they are not vaccinated.
Health Minister Giulia Grillo said the rule is: “No vaccine, no school.”
The law was passed in order to raise Italy’s vaccination rates from below 80% to the World Health Organization target of 95%. On the last day for parents to provide schools with documentation which prove their children have been vaccinated, the Italian health authority said that the national immunization rate was now at or very close to 95% for children born in 2015.
At the 95% threshold, “herd immunity” begins, meaning that when enough of the population is vaccinated, the spread of disease becomes unlikely which then protects those who can’t be vaccinated.”
People fear vaccinating their children because of a paper written by Andrew Wakefield in the late 1990s claiming that there was a link between vaccines and autism. His paper has been repeatedly discredited.