Which vaccines are mandatory in Italy?

Editorial Board

Editorial Board

November 15th, 2017

Editorial Board
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‘The Italian government has made vaccines against 10 diseases compulsory for children enrolling in state-run schools. The parents of children not vaccinated by six years of age will be fined. ’

Editor’s note: This article was updated to reflected changes to Italy’s law on compulsory vaccination. An earlier draft of the legislation provided for 12 vaccines to become mandatory. This was reduced to 10 during a debate in parliament.

Italy is one of several European countries experiencing measles outbreaks – jeopardising a continent-wide effort to eliminate the disease.

In Italy, the number of two-year-olds vaccinated against measles has dropped from more than 90% to below 80%. This is well short of the World Health Organization’s recommended coverage of 95% or more. Almost three times as many measles cases have been recorded in Italy to date, compared to all of 2016.

Whether mandatory vaccination is the best way to reach vaccine uptake targets remains a debate – some countries are measles-free without introducing compulsory measures. Other countries, such as Australia, have incentivised vaccination by linking it to social welfare payments. Several US states have introduced mandates, with opt-out clauses for medical (and, sometimes, philosophical) exemptions.

Italy’s choice

The Italian government, concerned by falling vaccine uptake rates and an apparent increase in antivaccine sentiment, has decided to take a firm position by introducing compulsory vaccination for measles and 9 other diseases.

‘We are sending a very strong message to the public,’ said Health Minister Beatrice Lorenzin, adding that the ‘vaccine emergency is driven by fake news’ which has spread misinformation about vaccine safety.

This was echoed by Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni who blamed a decrease in vaccinations on the ‘spread of anti-scientific theories’.

Vaccines against the following diseases are mandatory for Italian schoolchildren: polio, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, haemophilus influenzae B, measles, mumps, rubella, whooping cough, and chickenpox.

Some of these vaccines are given in combination. For example, the MMR jab protects against measles, mumps and rubella.

Italy: big on prevention

The Italian government has been proactive in its support for preventative health measures, including vaccination. Its new immunisation schedule takes a life-course approach to immunisation and is widely supported by scientific societies in Italy.

While many public health campaigners welcome the latest move to make several vaccines mandatory, some have questioned whether the health system is ready to meet the surge in demand that this may generate. Others worry that the move will backfire.

Beyond Italy, the debate about mandatory vaccination continues among vaccine advocates, with some contending that health professionals have a duty to be vaccinated so as to protect their patients.

While there is strong consensus in the public health community about the importance of vaccination, it is not yet clear whether making vaccines compulsory is the best way to achieve high uptake rates.

What do you think?

Comments

  1. Max Just

    Max Just

    August 31st, 2017

    Switzerland will soon be the only country with Measler cases – it is a shame für us.

    • Loli

      Loli

      October 28th, 2018

      Max Just I’d rather have measles than the shit deadly crap poison they put in vaccines that causes damages and deaths in babies and children!

      • Marlo Compagnone

        Marlo Compagnone

        January 25th, 2019

        AGREE!!!!!! No one does their own research , it’s sad.

        • Livia Bresciani

          Livia Bresciani

          March 19th, 2019

          by own research do you mean looking at unverified google sites that have been written by people that don’t have a degree.

      • Livia Bresciani

        Livia Bresciani

        March 12th, 2019

        just so we are aware, measles also causes death and damage to babies

  2. Joseph Cook

    Joseph Cook

    March 6th, 2019

    I am cautiously following the debate about vaccinations. My current opinion is that vaccinations should be spaced out so that a child’s body can metabolize each shot one at a time. I regard that the multiple number of shots required in the United States (is it 72) is excessive.
    Let’s also be mindful that some of the vaccinations we use have saved perhaps tens of millions of lives over the decades and have exceeded expectations.

    • Gary Finnegan

      Gary Finnegan

      March 19th, 2019

      On what are you basing your opinion about ‘metabolizing’ each shot?

    • Kate

      Kate

      April 20th, 2019

      Doesn’t it raise a red flag to you that (if you do the research) will find the measles “outbreak” was the SAME strain that is in the Vaccine. Also, IF vaccines work the way they are supposed to then why are more vaccinated children falling ill compared to the unvaccinated micro population? Also, measles was eradicated THREE years BEFORE the vaccine was introduced. Think about the cancer rate in children that has increased with the number of vaccines as well.. and why you wonder ? There ARE DNA fragments IN vaccines… Not to mention the cancer cells they have in them.. yes, cancer cells…. if your child accidentally ingests even the smallest amount of Rat poison or aluminun, or any other neuro toxin found in vaccines, we are asked to call poison control right away!!!! BUT- we are told they are “safe” to be injected to prevent measles.. you can prevent an infection lol which that’s all measles is … look it up please : MORE children have died from the MMR vaccine than the number of actual measles .. what’s that say

      • Gary Finnegan

        Gary Finnegan

        April 23rd, 2019

        I’m not sure I understand your complaint about vaccines protecting against the same strains as those circulating in the community. That’s how vaccines prepare the body’s immune system against these viruses. That’s why the flu vaccine is reformulated each year to match the latest strains of flu virus.

        Regarding your statement that measles was ‘eradicated’ years before the vaccine was introduced. That’s just not true. Only one human disease has ever been eradicated – smallpox. Measles was eliminated in some regions (e.g. the Americas) recently but that was long after the vaccine was introduced. In fact, it was achieved because of vaccines. However, ‘eliminated’ in one region is not the same as ‘eradicated’ globally. So cases can – and, sadly, were – imported to the Americas from other regions.

        You might be thinking of the fact that measles deaths were falling before the vaccine was introduced, thanks to better healthcare in developed countries. But there were still cases and still preventable deaths.

  3. Pingback

    Pingback

    March 13th, 2019

    […] the recent outbreaks shouldn’t come as a shock, a recent study shows that the country’s vaccination rate was near 80%, far below the World Health Organization’s 95% […]

  4. Pingback

    Pingback

    March 13th, 2019

    […] the recent outbreaks shouldn’t come as a shock, a recent study shows that the country’s vaccination rate was near 80%, far below the World Health Organization’s 95% […]

    • Kate

      Kate

      April 20th, 2019

      But if the outbreak is due to lack of vaccination then why is measles the ONLY thing that’s breaking out ? We vaccinate against NUMEROUS “diseases” yet.. measles … that’s the one. That’s the one they chose to SELL. Measles is not as scary as they say, they are selling fear .. it’s not comfortable, sure ! But it IS a common childhood illness- my grandparents laugh about the uproar about measles right now. Even the elderly community that I work with chuckle about it. The fact is Vaccines sell.. and it creates a customer for life … all that crap in your body is bound to bring you down with something ..

      • Gary Finnegan

        Gary Finnegan

        April 23rd, 2019

        Measles is highly infectious. That is why you see more measles cases than mumps cases even though they are prevented by the same vaccine (although there have been mumps outbreaks recently).