Italy changes laws over unvaccinated children attending school

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Italy changes laws over unvaccinated children attending school

Italian children lacking proof that they have been vaccinated were turned away from nurseries on Tuesday after the country's populist coalition reversed its previously sceptical stance on the need for compulsory jabs.

"Over the past year and a half, most parents have responsibly vaccinated their children and the number of vaccinated pupils has risen", Rusconi said.

However, past year the Health Ministry - headed by a member of the Five Star Movement political party, whose co-founder the paper noted has brought up conspiracy theories linking vaccination to autism - issued a temporary rule allowing parents to simply state the children had been vaccinated rather than receiving a note from a doctor.

Italian children have been ordered not to attend school unless they prove they have been appropriately vaccinated. The waiver was heavily criticised by the scientific and medical community, which said it could reverse progress made in boosting Italy's vaccination rates in recent years.

Ms Grillo said the rules were now simple: "No vaccine, no school".

In order to attend school, the Lorenzin law requires that students get a slew of vaccines, including ones for the chickenpox and measles, the BBC reported.

The law came in the wake of measles outbreaks - 5,000 people in Italy got the illness past year, and four died.

According to the BBC, the local authority in Bologna has already sent letters of suspension to the parents of approximately 300 kindergarten children and around 5,000 don't have up-to-date vaccination documentation.

Regional authorities are taking care of the situation through different ways, report Italian media.

The 95% threshold is the point at which "herd immunity" kicks in - when enough of the population is vaccinated for the spread of the disease to become unlikely, thereby protecting those who can not be vaccinated. At present, this target is not being achieved (it is now around 80 percent), said health officials.

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