Schools across Italy have been ordered to turn away unvaccinated children under strict new laws that went into effect Monday.
The action takes place after months of national debate over imposed vaccination. If they're between ages 7 to 16, their parents will face a fine.
The 2017 law aims to combat the rising number of measles cases across the country by mandating that school students receive 10 difference vaccinations.
"Italy's measles vaccine coverage was par with Namibia, lower than Ghana", San Raffaele University in Milan microbiology and virology professor Roberto Burioni told CNN a year ago.More news: NBA Star Draymond Green Draws F-Word, Coach Kerr ‘Begs To Differ’
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Nursery school and kindergarten programs will not accept children ages 6 and below unless their immunizations can be verified, the outlet said. 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.
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.
"No vaccine, no school", Giulia Grillo, Italy's Minister of Health, told La Repubblica. These vaccines include polio, measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.
While immunization rates hovered around 80 per cent in 2017, when the law was passed, the Times added, the country now is nearing (and in some areas has already met) the World Health Organization target of 95 per cent.