Italy bans unvaccinated children from schools after measles outbreak

According to the Lorenzin law implemented by the Five Star Movement, parents who send their children to school without the recommended vaccinations will face a fine up to €500.


                            Italy bans unvaccinated children from schools after measles outbreak

Italy, on Tuesday, banned unvaccinated children from entering schools in the country. The decision was taken after an increase in the number of measles cases across the nation.

According to the new Lorenzin Law implemented by the Five Star Movement (M5S), parents who opt to send their children to school without the recommended vaccinations will be faced with a fine up to €500 ($565), the Daily Mail reported.

The law, named after the former health minister Beatrice Lorenzin, proclaims that children under the age of six can also be sent away from home if they haven't received their required vaccination shots. The children, as the law requires, are supposed to be inoculated against chickenpox, measles, polio, rubella, and mumps before they begin their school year.

A children's doctor injects a vaccine against measles, rubella, mumps and chicken pox to an infant on February 26, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Getty Images)
A children's doctor injects a vaccine against measles, rubella, mumps and chicken pox to an infant on February 26, 2015 in Berlin, Germany. (Getty Images)

Reports state that as a result of the ban, many parents have resorted to lying about their children being vaccinated just to get them to school.

The country's current health minister Giula Grillo, while talking to La Repubblica newspaper, on Monday said: "Now everyone has had time to catch up. No vaccine, no school." Grillo had reportedly resisted political pressure from the deputy prime minister Matteo Salvini to extend the deadline, however, she remained resolute for Monday.

The new law came amid a surge in measles cases in Italy, which accounted for nearly a quarter of all measles cases in Europe last year according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO had released data revealing that Italy had not met its 95 percent recommended vaccination rate, with at least 165 cases of measles being reported in January this year.



 

The decision of mandatory vaccinations was accelerated after an eight-year-old cancer survivor last month was put at risk because of unvaccinated children in his school in Rome.

Hordes of people took to streets to protest against the mandatory vaccination proposition in 2017, however, after noting a surge in the number of measles cases in the country, the government made the decision to make vaccinations compulsory. Local authorities in Bologna reportedly sent letters of suspension to the parents of at least 300 children, and a total of 5,000 children do not have their vaccination documentation up to date. Some parents opposed to vaccinations have said on social media that they will now withdraw their children from school.