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Italy faces epidemic of measles: dispute over vaccination policy

Thirty percent of measles cases in Italy affected children under five. A: 91 percent of those affected by this virus were not vaccinated.

In Italy, the risk of developing measles is the second largest in Europe. Only in France and Greece are the chests more widespread.


Compared to 2017, when 5402 cases of measles were reported, the number of illnesses in Italy decreased by half. Physicians attribute this to the growing number of vaccinations due to a vaccination commitment approved in July 2017. This includes 10 compulsory vaccinations for children, including measles, meningitis, tetanus, paralysis, mumps, coughs and wet leaves.

"Newly published data showing that measles cases in Italy in 2018 compared to the previous year testify that compulsory schooling for children in school age is working," said Walter Ricciardi, Italian President of the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA). The fall in the number of measles cases is remarkable, but Italy should continue to work to cover more vaccines. That's the only way to stop the epidemic of measles.

The government promised to cancel the vaccination

The two ruling powers in Rome – the Five Star Movements and Lego – promised an election campaign for the parliamentary elections in March 2018, but abolished the obligation to vaccinate.

The founder of Beppe Grillo, a five-member movement, has been accused of having an important role in the eradication of dangerous diseases. However, vaccination also has significant side effects that can cause cancer, allergies and autism among others. In addition, mandatory vaccination was a gift from the state to the pharmaceutical industry, criticized Grillo.

Lega Matteo Salvini, Interior Minister and Chief Executive Officer, also opposed vaccination. Although Salvini claims to have two children vaccinated, she believes that the decision should be left to the parents, whether against and against whom the children will be vaccinated.

As Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte's government came in June, parents no longer need to give their children a confirmation from the health authorities about the vaccinations they had received to attend kindergarten and school and to provide information themselves. The government is talking about "flexible vaccination", vaccination is recommended but not ordered.

Parents are encouraged to vaccinate their children but should not be excluded from school unless they are vaccinated as currently prescribed by law.

PD protests against flexible vaccination

"Flexible vaccination obligation" has prompted a protest by the opposition Partito Democratico (PD), which is in line with the current law. "Do not Want to Joke about Children's Health" is the slogan of the PD campaign.

In addition, the situation is complicated by the fact that 9 of the 20 regions have announced that they will file constitutional claims against new vaccination regulations. The vaccination obligation thus became the subject of litigation before the High Court.

With the introduction of compulsory vaccination already in Italy has already acquired the widespread anti-vaccine movement "No Vax". Their followers are suspected of vaccine professionals and doctors. They require immediate vaccinations.


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