Italy bans unvaccinated children from attending school

Parents of older children could be fined up to $800 if they don't comply and children under six could be turned away from school, the BBC ha reported.

Following months of fiery debate - and measles outbreaks - a new law banning unvaccinated children from Italy's classrooms has come into effect.

Italian children are no longer allowed to attend school unless they can prove they have been properly vaccinated under a new law.

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

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Children can not attend nursery schools unless they are vaccinated, and parents of elementary and middle school pupils risk fines of up to 500 euros if they don't have doctor's notes showing that their children were vaccinated against the required diseases.

"Italy's measles vaccine coverage was par with Namibia, lower than Ghana", San Raffaele University microbiology and virology professor Roberto Burioni told CNN previous year.

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

Nursery school and kindergarten programs will not accept children ages 6 and below unless their immunizations can be verified, the outlet said.

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Italian schoolchildren will be unable to attend school if they aren't vaccinated.

"Now everyone has had time to catch up", Health Minister Giulia Grillo told La Repubblica.

These include vaccinations for chickenpox, polio, measles, mumps, and rubella.

Italy's so-called Lorenzin law, named after the former health minister who introduced it, states children must receive a set of mandatory injections before attending school. 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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