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Italian parliament approves contested vaccine program

Italian parliament approves contested vaccine program
Children under 16 to be vaccinated before enrolling in nurseries, kindergartens, primary schools

By Baris Seckin

ROME (AA) - Italy’s parliament on Friday approved a disputed law which will make 10 vaccines compulsory for children under 16.

The compulsory-vaccination amendment prepared by the coalition government under Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni was passed with 296 votes in favor, 92 against and 15 abstentions.

Vaccines against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, hemophilia B, whooping cough, measles, rubella, mumps, and chickenpox diseases are now compulsory.

The law says children will be checked while enrolling in nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools.

It also rules that parents who do not get their children vaccinated will pay fines up to €500 ($586).

"The launch of the final law will increase the level of protection of the health of Italian families," Gentiloni said on Twitter.

First draft of the amendment, which was later replaced with current version after public criticism, had said the parents would fines up to €7,500 ($7,800).

It was also removed clauses which stated parents who did not get the compulsory vaccinations for their children could have their offspring taken into care.

According to official health data, Italy is one of the countries in Europe where measles cases have increased in recent years.

Since the beginning of this year, 3,672 cases of measles have been detected of which three have been reported to have resulted in death.

*Ilker Girit contributed to this story from Istanbul.

source: News Feed
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