GIOVENTU » Emilia Romagna bans children without vaccinations from nursery

Emilia Romagna bans children without vaccinations from nursery

The Emilia Romagna regional council has ruled that Children who haven't received their vaccinations will not be allowed to attend nursery in the region. The main reason is to protect the weakest children, who for health reasons, may not be able to be vaccinated and thus are exposed to contagion.


The law, which was passed with 27 votes in favour, five against (from the Five Star Movement party) and ten abstentions, applies to vaccinations protecting against diphtheria, polio, TB, and hepatitis B. Weaker children will be exempted from the obligatory vaccinations.


The vaccination requirement to access to educational services in the age group 0-3 adheres to a principle of "social responsibility".


Parents who haven't vaccinated their children and wish to apply to nursery school have time until June 2017.  


The percentage of vaccines that guarantee the best protection to the entire population must be greater than 95%, the limit set by the World Health Organization (WHO). In Emilia-Romagna the coverage was 93.4% in 2015. Last year only three local health authorities were above 95%: Imola had highest percentage, with 95.8% (compared to 95.3% in 2014), Parma 95.6% (95% the previous year) and Piacenza 95.6% (95.7%). Bologna had only 93.5% (95.2% the previous year). Emilia Romagna local health authority recorded even more negative data in 2015, 92.3% compared to 91.1% last year. Rimini had 87.5%, vaccinated people, slightly more compared to 87.3% in 2014, Cesena had 89.4% (92.5% the previous year), Forlì 93% (94.5% the previous year) and Ravenna 94.3% (95.2% the previous year).


Children in Italy are vaccinated increasingly less. Many diseases are under the safety threshold, the so called social immunity. The trend towards the decrease concerns both compulsory and recommended vaccinations.  


The most worrying data concerns measles and German measles. In two years, from 2013 to 2015, the coverage has dropped from 90,5% to ’85,3%. Italy might cause the failure of the “global elimination plan” devised by the world health organization. In fact, to declare the eradication of a disease it is necessary that all the countries are declared free from it.


The only exceptions in the downtrend in vaccinations are registered for immunization against meningitis, with slight increases of 3.6% and 1.5% respectively in the period 2014-15, with large regional differences. In Tuscany there is a meningitis outbreak ongoing (the last case was in early October) and the Region has taken several measures to address the emergency, including that of providing the vaccine free of charge to the population.

Giulia Lombardo

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