Italian children have been told not to go to school unless they have all the documents proving they have been properly vaccinated.

The new so-called Lorenzin Law – is named after the former health minister who introduced it, and came amid a surge in measles cases. The Italian authorities have stated that the new law is designed to combat the rise in measles cases and the plummeting rates of children getting immunisations. These mandatory vaccines will also include polio, mumps, rubella and chickenpox.

Children up to the age of six years will be turned away from nursery and kindergarten if they have not been vaccinated. However,students aged between 6 and 16 have not been banned from attending school, but their parents will risk a fine up to €500 (£425; $560) if they remain unvaccinated.

The deadline for certification was due to be 10 March. In Bologna, authorities have sent letters of suspension to the parents of some 300 children, and a total of 5,000 children’s documents are not up to date.

The topic has been heavily debated in Italy, where residents have been voicing their discontent with the new law for months as part of a global anti-vaccination movement.

The World Health Organization called the anti-vaccination movement one of the greatest threats to world health back in January.

New data which was released by the World Health Organisation revealed that Italy’s vaccinations rates were below 80% to WHO’s 95% target.  When vaccination rates go up above 95%, “herd immunity” kicks in — the spread of disease becomes so unlikely that it protects those who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons.

Read More: Italy Bans Unvaccinated Children From School 

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