The law compelling children to have 10 vaccinations in order to enrol at state schools came into effect in March, created by the previous government after a surge in the number of measles cases in Italy. Ay this time children cannot enrol in a creche or kindergarten unless they have been vaccinated against measles as well as nine other diseases. Parents of unvaccinated children aged between six and 16 faced fines of up to €500. Critics say the new government is eroding faith in science, and nine Italian regional administrations that oppose the repeal have said they intend to appeal to the constitutional court or create their own laws to reinstate compulsory vaccines.
Italian perception of the safety of vaccinations is heavily influenced by now-discredited claims of a connection between the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab and autism. Antonio Saitta, health director for the Piedmont region and health coordinator for the federation of regions, said the repeal was a “step backwards.” “I have worked in a children’s hospital for 40 years and have seen children die of measles and meningitis, but never Measles vaccination became a hot-button issue after last year’s outbreak sickened nearly 5,000 people and killed four. after vaccinations,” Giorgio Trizzino, a lawmaker who was previously director at a children’s hospital, posted his concerns on Facebook.