Italy has the lowest vaccination coverage in Europe among 10- to 16-year-olds, and the Italian government is passing law for stricter sanctions to encourage both parents and children to be vaccinated.
Legislation allowing tougher sentences for vaccine refusal has just passed the Italian Senate. Under the bill:
Those who refuse vaccination could be hit with a fine between 20,000 to 40,000 euros, with an up to three-year jail sentence for those who allow their children to refuse vaccination.
Those who fail to fill in vaccination requests will also face fines ranging from between 2,000 to 4,000 euros. Those who fail to vaccinate their children in a school could be fined between 10,000 to 40,000 euros or face two to six years in prison, and those who allow their children to not be vaccinated could face jail sentences of three to 12 years.
The bill has just passed the Italian Senate
The Bill has been passed by the Senate and is now going through the Italian Chamber of Deputies. It will also need the approval of the President of the Italian Senate if it is to become law.
David Nussbaum, chief executive of the World Health Organization (WHO), stated:
“We know vaccination is still far from perfect in most countries, but this legislation is positive news for Italy, which has the lowest immunization coverage in Europe and possibly one of the lowest worldwide. We hope that this will be the first of many improvements to take hold in Italy and in other countries.
“Failure to vaccinate can have serious and even life-threatening consequences, so it is vital that all children and adults alike receive the full range of available vaccines to protect them and their communities from preventable diseases.”