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Children vaccination is required by a law in Italy

The so-called Lorenzin law - named after the former health minister who introduced it – requires children must receive a range of mandatory immunizations before attending school.

It’s about chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella vaccination. Children up to the age of six years will be excluded from nursery and kindergarten without proof of vaccination under the new rules. However children under six can be turned away. Parents will be fined up to €500 (£425; $560) if they send their unvaccinated children to school. In Bologna, as an example, the local authority has set letters of suspension to the parents of some 300 children, and a total of 5,000 children do not have their vaccine documentation up to date.

protest-against-vaccination
Protest against children vaccination in Italy

Italian officials say vaccination rates have improved since the law was introduced. A revision of the law is expected. The M5S health minister, Giulia Grillo, drafted a new bill introducing a so-called "flexible obligation", prioritizing educating parents on the benefits of vaccines without making them compulsory unless there were an outbreak or the coverage rate is too lowThe anti-vaccination movement has been growing globally in recent years, sparking alarm from the World Health Organization.

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