In a follow-up on a previous report on Italy Health Ministry’s proposal to make childhood vaccines compulsory for the country’s schools, The Council of Ministers approved the law making what was once recommended now mandatory, according to the Ministero della Salute Friday (computer translated).
Vaccinations covering 12 common diseases will be required to register children for state childcare and elementary school up to the age of six. These include vaccines against polio, diphtheria, meningitis, measles and pertussis, among others.
The law notes that vaccinations may be deferred only in the event of an established health hazard in relation to specific clinical conditions documented and attested to by a general practitioner or pediatrician of their own choice.
In order to ensure the fulfillment of the vaccination obligation, the decree has the following measures:
In the case of breach of the vaccination obligation to parents who have parental responsibility and guardians, a fine of € 500.00 to € 7,500.00 is imposed on the administrative penalty.
The parent or the parent parental authority on the child who violates the obligation to vaccinate is reported by the ASL to the Juvenile Court for the suspension of parental authority.
Children who do not have compulsory vaccinations can not be enrolled in kindergartens and public and private child schools. In such a case, the schoolmaster reports to the healthcare company responsible for the name of the child within five days for the vaccine to be fulfilled.
“We are sending a very strong message to the public,” said Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin.
The decree measures come into force in the next school year.
The current measles outbreak in Italy was the likely impetus for the proposal last week. Italy has reported 2,224 measles cases since the beginning of the year.
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