The anti-vaxx movement hasn’t been confined to just the United States. Italy is another country that has been dealing with a growing anti-vaxx movement, which has been successful in getting its message and beliefs made public.
To combat the movement, the Italian government is now taking bold steps to ensure children are vaccinated.
The BBC reported on how Italy passed a law that will either fine parents or allow schools to turn children away if they haven’t received proper immunizations, depending on age. Children under six can be turned away while any attending school between the age of 6 and 16 will result in their parents being fined 500 euros ($564 dollars).
Parents would need to present certification that their children had been properly immunized before they could be placed back in school or end the fines. Despite political pressure to extend the deadline, Health Minister Giulia Grillo kept it at March 11, saying “No vaccine, no school.”
Much like Oregon and Washington, Italy has been experiencing a measles outbreak due to unvaccinated children. The last few years saw Italy’s vaccination rates drop to 80 percent, well below the 95 percent target the World Health Organization pushes countries to reach.
Italian officials have said that the law is already having a positive effect, though it hasn’t released any figures.
Despite the purported success of the law, the Italian government has faced its share of criticism. Protests have broken out against compulsory immunization and two populist parties have been accused of pushing anti-vaxx policies.