Anti-vaccine protester punches doctor after hotly-contested law gets approved

The Local Italy
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Anti-vaccine protester punches doctor after hotly-contested law gets approved
File photo: Esbenklinker/ Deposit Photos"

A man was placed under house arrest on Monday for allegedly punching a doctor because he believes a vaccination caused his child's illness.


The doctor is in charge of a vaccination centre in the seaside town of Diamante, in the Calabrian province of Cosenza, Ansa reported.

The alleged incident came days after the Italian government approved making childhood vaccinations compulsory for school children up to the age of 16.  The ruling was approved amid a surge in the number of measles cases due to parents refusing to inoculate their children against the highly contagious disease because of concerns over autism.

There were 3,232 cases of measles between January and June this year compared to 478 during the same period last year. A six-year-old boy died of the illness in June. A doctor confirmed he had not been vaccinated against it. 

Parents now face fines for failing to vaccinate their children against 12 common illness.

According to Health Ministry data, only 85.3 percent of Italian two-year-olds had been vaccinated in 2015, well short of the 95 percent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) to contain outbreaks.

The regulation, which takes effect in September, was hotly contested, with anti-vaccine protesters congregating outside parliament on Friday. Three politicians from the ruling Democratic Party were assaulted during the protest.

Meanwhile, Italy’s top court last week ruled against a claim for damages from a father who argued his son’s autism was caused by the polio vaccine, Sabin.

The decision by the Court of Cassation upheld earlier verdicts from lower courts in the Campania city of Salerno, ruling out a link between the vaccine and autism.


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