Italy bans unvaccinated kids from school
Schools across Italy have been ordered to turn away unvaccinated children under strict new laws that went into effect Monday.
Under the country’s so-called Lorenzin law — named after the former health minister who introduced it — children will now be required to receive a range of immunizations in order to attend school. These vaccines include polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.
Children under 6 years old will be banned from attending nursery and kindergarten if parents cannot provide proof of vaccination. Children between 6 and 16 cannot be flat-out banned from attending school, but parents will face fines up to $560 for sending their unvaccinated kids to class.
The law was implemented as a response to a recent spike in measles outbreaks. According to the BBC, Italy has fallen behind other countries in terms of vaccination rates. With rates below 80 percent, the country lags far behind the World Health Organization’s 95 percent target.
So far, it has been reported that in Bologna, authorities have sent suspension letters to parents over more than 300 children, and a total of 5,000 kids do not have up-to-date vaccination documents.
The last day for parents to turn in vaccine documents was Monday. Italian health authorities said the national immunization rate was now at 95 percent for children born in 2015.
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