Proof of Children’s Vaccinations? Italy Will Now Take Parents’ Word for It


The law was introduced to raise the country’s immunization coverage after a measles outbreak in Europe that year with more than 14,000 cases. Italy, with over 4,500 instances, was second only to Romania in the number of cases.

The Five Star Movement says it wants the highest possible level of immunizations, but it has also long advocated overhauling the law, which it considers too restrictive. In 2015, the group proposed a law to limit vaccinations, which it considers linked to cancer, leukemia, allergies, inflammation and autism, despite scientific evidence to the contrary.

Beppe Grillo, a comedian who co-founded the Five Star Movement, argued in his comedy shows several years ago that vaccines should not be compulsory and that the inoculation of viruses can be dangerous.

The League’s leader, Matteo Salvini, has also often said that 10 vaccines are “too many” and that the choice over whether to vaccinate children should be left to parents.

“Vaccination yes, obligation no,” he said at a rally last week.

“We need to be safe from measles, but other vaccines seem to me absolutely superfluous,” Mr. Salvini said, adding that he had not had his own children vaccinated.

Asked by reporters how the government would provide education to children who have autoimmune conditions or who are undergoing lifesaving therapies, who would be unable to attend school unless every child in their class is vaccinated, Education Minister Marco Bussetti, also from the League, replied, “Surely they won’t be abandoned.”

It was unclear how the government would ensure that parents are telling the truth about their children’s vaccinations on school enrollment forms.

For her part, Ms. Grillo announced at Thursday’s news conference that she was expecting a baby.

“Once he is born,” she said, “I’ll vaccinate him exactly like all the other Italian citizens.”

Source : Nytimes