Children in Italy can be banned from public schools if they have not received mandatory vaccinations, beginning this week.
This follows the March 11 deadline set by the Lorenzin law, named after former Health Minister who proposed it, to combat the decrease in immunisation rates and the rise in Measles cases throughout the country.
In 2018, over 2,700 cases of the highly contagious, vaccine-preventable disease were recorded in Italy, killing 12 people.
The law requires students to have 10 vaccinations, including Chickenpox, Polio, Measles, Mumps, and Rubella, before attending school.
Children under the age of six, without proof of vaccination, can be turned away from kindergartens and nursery schools.
Students between the ages of six and 16 cannot be refused entry into schools; however, their parents face large fines, up to €500, if the mandatory vaccinations were not received.
Italy joins France and Germany in the movement to crack down on unvaccinated students in schools, combating the decreasing immunisation rates throughout the EU.
All students in the United States are required to be immunised or they will not be allowed to attend classes, although religious and personal exemptions are permitted in 20 states.
Similar policies have existed for over three years in Australia and Canada, especially regarding children under six.
Fear of the link between vaccines and health risks, especially Autism and the Measles vaccine, have contributed to the skepticism surrounding mandatory immunisations and the resurgence of the virus throughout Europe.
But a recent, Danish study, published earlier this month, reaffirms that there is no correlation between the Measles vaccine and Autism.
However, the myths surrounding vaccinations still contribute to parents’ anti-vaccination stances around the world, creating a dangerous mentality that can harm the greater population.
Vaccine-preventable diseases are becoming rarer because of immunisations and herd-immunity, which indirectly protects individuals and eliminates the spread of diseases if the majority of a population is vaccinated.
Parents play a crucial role in stopping the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases by choosing to immunise their children, and preventing unvaccinated students from attending school should motivate parents to make the right decision to look after their child and the greater population.