Italy changes laws over unvaccinated children attending school

Italy bans unvaccinated kids from school

Italy bans unvaccinated kids from school

Across the world, health authorities are grappling with a global resurgence of measles, with record numbers recorded in Europe and deadly outbreaks in the Philippines and Madagascar.

Following months of fiery debate - and measles outbreaks - a new law banning unvaccinated children from Italy's classrooms has come into effect.

Italian health officials have taken a step towards stopping the wave of anti-vaccination campaigns.

Older unvaccinated children can't legally be turned away from school, but their parents will be fined.

The required vaccinations are polio, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, pertussis, measles, rubella, mumps, chicken pox and Haemophilus influenzae type B.

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The BBC reported on how Italy passed a law that will either fine parents or allow schools to turn children away if they haven't received proper immunizations, depending on age. The study has long since been discredited but the confidence on vaccines has been damaged to a great extent.

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

The government, which had initially opposed the Lorenzin law, reversed that position after what it called "a measles emergency", and criticism from health experts accusing the anti-vaccination movement of "sending Italy back to the Middle Ages".

The country's immunization rate dropped to below 80 percent against the World Health Organization's (WHO) requirement of 95 percent.

Under Italy's so-called Lorenzin law - named after the former health minister who introduced it - children must receive a range of mandatory immunisations before attending school.

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