[Trending] Italy Places School Ban For Unvaccinated Children Amid Measles Epidemic

While the United States deliberates on how to handle their measles outbreak , Italy has decided to take legal action. Under a new law from t...

While the United States deliberates on how to handle their measles outbreak, Italy has decided to take legal action. Under a new law from the Italian government, all unvaccinated kids under the age of six can be barred from public schools and while kids aged 6-16 cannot be banned they risk their parents having to pay a €500 ($560) fine. The ban comes amid a surge in measles cases in the European country. Among the 10 mandatory vaccinations for school, admission are shots for chicken pox, polio, mumps, rubella and of course, measles. The Lorenzin law, named for the former Italian Health Minister who introduced it, came into effect on Tuesday.

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The original efforts to make vaccines mandatory were denounced by Italy’s current far-right Five Star Movement (M5S) government, who called into question the safety of some immunizations. The group even threatened to overturn the mandatory vaccination laws that the previous government had passed in 2017, but decided not to go through with the plan.

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A change in course from the government came from a wave of criticism they received in light of the country’s measles outbreak last summer. In January 2019, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the numbers rose to a reported 165 cases, marking one of the highest numbers in Europe.

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Since the law first passed, there is data from the Italian health ministry to suggest that the laws had met their intended goal with 94 percent of children having had at least one dose of the measles vaccine in June 2018, which put the numbers up two percent in six months. Before the law, Italy’s rates of vaccinations had dropped well below 80 percent a stark contrast to the 95 percent vaccination rate recommended by the World Health Organization.

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A 95 percent vaccination threshold is the point that “herd immunity” is achieved, in which there is enough of the population vaccinated that the spread of diseases is highly unlikely and protects those who are too young or have special health conditions in which they cannot be vaccinated.

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Health Minister Giulia Grillo told La Repubblica newspaper: “Everyone has had time to catch up,” and the government has proved they aren’t messing around. So far, according to the BBC, the local authority in Bologna has sent around 300 letters of suspension to parents and a total of 5,000 children still do not have their vaccine documents up to date.

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The anti-vaccination movement has spread across the globe to cause measles epidemics around the world, which has alarmed the World Health Organization. Misinformation and discredited papers have contributed to this misplaced fear of vaccines. A significant disproved study came from Andrew Wakefield, who falsely claimed that there was a link between measles, mumps and rubella vaccine (MMR) and autism and bowel disease in children.

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According to the World Health Organization measles cases spiked in every region in 2017 and caused an estimated 110,000 deaths.

Many people on the internet found the law to be a smart move

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