No Vaccine, No School! Italy Bans Unvaccinated Students From Attending School

Many countries throughout the world cope with the rise in the "anti-vax" sentiment. But children in Italy are banned from attending school unless they can prove they've been vaccinated.

The New Anti-Vax Law

The new law states it clear that if your kids aren't vaccinated, they aren't allowed in school or to receive education services across Italy.

So, parents who have kids under the age of six have to provide immunization proof. Otherwise, their children stay at home.

The Penalty and Fines

If children between the ages of six and 18 attend school and are not vaccinated, their parents risk being fined up to €500 (£425; $560).

The deadline to comply with the new anti-vax law was on March 10, 2019. Citizens got an extra day with that date having fallen on a Sunday.

The new ordinance came after a surge in measles cases. Since the imposition of the law, Italian officials reported vaccination rates improved.

Variety of Immunizations

Under Italy's Lorenzin law, named after former health minister Beatrice Lorenzin, all children must be immunized to be allowed to schools.

The mandatory immunization includes vaccinations for highly contagious diseases, such as chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella.

No Vaccine, No School!

Health Minister Giulia Grillo told La Repubblica Newspaper:

"Now everyone has had time to catch up."

Deputy prime minister, Matteo Salvini, pleaded for an extension of the March 10 deadline. But Giulia Grillo refused to change the dates claiming that new anti-vax rules are simple: "No vaccine, no school."

Parents of over 300 Children Received Suspension Letters

According to the local authorities, nearly 300 out of 5,000 kids were suspended from school in Bologna for lack of up-to-date immunization documents.

Does the New Law Have an Effect?

The law intends to raise the country's vaccination rates from below 80 percent to the World Health Organization's 95 percent.

It also aims at preventing major disease outbreaks such as measles.

Measles Cases

Measles has been a significant concern as the disease is highly contagious. It can also trigger other illnesses, such as brain damage and pneumonia.

Before immunization of measles in the 1960s, the disease caused extreme epidemics every two or three years. And 95 percent of kids had it by the time they were 15.

But the numbers of children contracting the disease have considerably reduced in recent years. So far, in 2019, the CDC confirmed 228 cases in the States. In 2018, there were 372 cases.