Italian parents could be fined for sending unvaccinated children to school

Unvaccinated children are now banned from attending preschool in Italy, as a new law came into effect this week.

Those aged between six and 16 can not be banned from attending school, however their parents do face fines for not following the mandatory course of vaccinations.

This stance follows months of debate over compulsory vaccination, both in Italy and across the world. "Now, children who are not vaccinated will endanger other children at school who are too small for vaccines or can not be vaccinated because they suffer from immunosuppressive diseases".

Children under six can be barred from attending nursery schools and kindergartens if their parents fail to present written evidence that they have had the required vaccinations.

Historically, pro-vaccination schemes have been met with scepticism in Italy.

"No vaccine, no school", health minister Giulia Grillo told La Republica newspaper.

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.

According to the BBC, the 10 vaccines include those that immunize against chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella.

In Bologna, 300 children were suspended from school, according to Italian media reports, while 37 were turned away in the northern Veneto region.

Italian schoolchildren will be unable to attend school if they aren't vaccinated. It threatened to overturn the mandatory vaccination law passed by the previous government but ended up scrapping its plans in the face of criticism as the country experienced a measles outbreak last summer.

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