Unvaccinated children in Italy banned from preschool under new law

Italy's Health Minister Giulia Grillo									ALBERTO PIZZOLI  AFP  Getty Images

Italy's Health Minister Giulia Grillo ALBERTO PIZZOLI AFP Getty Images

Those aged between six and 16 can not be banned from attending school, however their parents do face fines for not following the mandatory course of vaccinations.

Following months of fiery debate - and measles outbreaks - a new law banning unvaccinated children from Italy's classrooms has come into effect. It's unclear how many children will face suspensions from schools nationwide.

Older children can attend school without being fully vaccinated, but parents face fines of 100 to 500 euros (C$151-754), and local health authorities will then schedule vaccinations for the children to make sure they get caught up.

Children under age six will be excluded from nursery and kindergarten without proof of vaccinations under the new law.

In Bologna, officials said the 300 children did not present the official document attesting to their vaccination on Monday, and so could not attend public nursery schools.

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

Italian schoolchildren will be unable to attend school if they aren't vaccinated. However, the B.C. government has said that it is only planning to require mandatory reporting of vaccination status in the upcoming school year. The BBC added that Italian media reported regional authorities are "handling the situation in a number of different ways", with no notices of suspension reported in some areas and grace periods allowed in others.

In 2017 former Italian health minister Beatrice Lorenzin introduced a policy to obligate children to undergo 10 compulsory vaccinations, a survey found between a quarter and half of the population opposed the new scheme.

The law was passed in order to tackle an outbreak of measles after some 5000 cases were reported in 2017.