On Friday last week, Italy’s parliament gave final approval to make vaccinations mandatory for school children up to age 16. The decision to push for this comes after the number of children being vaccinated has dropped since mandatory inoculations were dropped for school admissions almost 20 years ago.1Oh and because of all the “bad information,” according to officials. (Italian parents aren’t apparently smart enough to read?)

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Under the new requirements, parents have to present proof of vaccinations to gain admission into preschools, while parents of children of mandatory school age face fines of up to 500 euros ($588) for noncompliance. The requirements cover 10 vaccinations, including diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella and chicken pox. The initial list also included meningococcal B and meningococcal C but they were dropped.2

“Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin hailed the 296-92 vote with 15 abstentions as providing ‘a shield for our children against very serious diseases that are still among us.’

But the sharp tones of the debate before the vote didn’t dissipate. Noisy protesters gathered outside parliament with signs: ‘Don’t touch our children,’ and shouted at lawmakers as they passed by. A top health official in Liguria, Sonia Viale, was quoted as saying the measure marked ‘a return to fascism,’ drawing rebukes.”3

Last year, in all of Europe, measles killed 35 children, according to the WHO. Now, ANY DEATH is a terrible thing but this type of reaction, this type of fear mongering, is hardly warranted.

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Sources and References

  1. Seattle Times, July 28, 2017.
  2. Seattle Times, July 28, 2017.
  3. Seattle Times, July 28, 2017.