A law in Italy requiring children to be vaccinated in order to attend school went into affect on Monday, according to the BBC. Despite political pressure to extend the deadline, Health Minister Giulia Grillo kept it at March 11, saying "No vaccine, no school".
"Over the past year and a half, most parents have responsibly vaccinated their children and the number of vaccinated pupils has risen", Rusconi said.
The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) study after a major measles outbreak in the country in 2017 found that almost 89 percent of cases were reported among unvaccinated people.
It also fines parents of children between 6 and 16 years old about $560 if they can not prove their children have been vaccinated.
Following months of fiery debate - and measles outbreaks - a new law banning unvaccinated children from Italy's classrooms has come into effect. Monday marked the first day schools could turn away students.
For years, confusion about vaccines has reigned in Italy.
Prove your kid is vaccinated or pay up, Italian parents are being told.
After the notorious study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield that linked measles vaccine to autism, there has been rise in anti-vaccination sentiments among parents.
The BBC wrote that the law was passed to bolster flagging Italian vaccination rates, which is in part due to a growing movement of anti-vaccination activists (widely known as antiaxxers). With rates below 80 percent, the country lags far behind the World Health Organization's 95 percent target.
In Bologna, the local authority has sent letters of suspension to the parents of some 300 children, and a total of 5,000 children do not have their vaccine documentation up to date.
The 95% threshold is the point at which "herd immunity" kicks in - when enough of the population is vaccinated for the spread of the disease to become unlikely, thereby protecting those who can not be vaccinated.
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