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Italian children have been told not to turn up to school unless they can prove they have been properly vaccinated. The deadline follows months of national debate over compulsory vaccination. The new law came amid a surge in measles cases - but Italian officials say vaccination rates have improved since it was introduced. Children must receive a range of mandatory immunisations before attending school. They include vaccinations for chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps and rubella.
Children up to the age of six years will be excluded from nursery and kindergarten without proof of vaccination under the new rules. Those aged between six and 16 cannot be banned from attending school, but their parents face fines if they do not complete the mandatory course of immunisations.
Italian media report that regional authorities are handling the situation in a number of different ways. In Bologna, 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. In other areas there have been no reported cases, while still others have been given a grace period of a few days beyond the deadline.
The new law was passed to raise Italy’s dropping vaccination rates from below 80% to the World Health Organisation’s 95% target.
Adapted from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47536981