Europe

Italian parents could be fined for sending unvaccinated children to school

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Parents of older school children could be fined and children under six could be turned away from school if they are not properly vaccinated under new Italian laws.

Italian parents have been told to keep their kids home from school unless they are able to prove they have been properly vaccinated - or risk having to open up their wallet. 

Parents of older children could be fined up to $800 if they don't comply and children under six could be turned away from school, the BBC ha reported. 

The new rules came into force on Tuesday and are part of the so-called "Lorenzin law", named after former Italian Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin. The 2017 law aims to combat the rising number of measles cases across the country by mandating that school students receive 10 difference vaccinations.

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

Prove your kid is vaccinated or pay up, Italian parents are being told.
Prove your kid is vaccinated or pay up, Italian parents are being told.
Getty Images


But up until Tuesday, a temporary measure meant students could remain in school as long as their parents said they were vaccinated. Now, parents will be required to prove vaccination through doctors records. 

"Everyone has had time to catch up," Health Minister Giulia Grillo told La Repubblica newspaper.

“No vaccine, no school.”

According to the BBC, the local authority in Bologna has already sent letters of suspension to the parents of approximately 300 kindergarten children and around 5,000 don't have up-to-date vaccination documentation.

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.

The World Health Organisation said the record number of cases in 2018 was in part due to the growing number of parents refusing to vaccinate their children.

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