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Compulsory Italian school vaccinations: How it works

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Compulsory Italian school vaccinations: How it works
File photo: stalnyk/Depositphotos
10:38 CEST+02:00
The Ministry of Health has made ten vaccines against common diseases compulsory for all children aged under 16 resident in Italy.

The so-called Lorenzin decree, which became law in July 2017, makes ten vaccinations compulsory and free of charge for all children aged 0-16.

The law makes the vaccinations a pre-requisite for registering children in school. Parents will have to present their vaccination certificates to schools on enrolment day as of the 2017/2018 school year. 

It also mandates every region to provide an additional four non-compulsory vaccinations for free. 

Schools have been told to notify the local ASL health agencies when parents fail to present the necessary vaccination documents within ten days of the cut-off dates. 

The original law earlier this year had proposed 12 vaccinations, which has now being reduced to ten.

 WHAT ARE THE COMPULSORY VACCINATIONS FOR?

- polio

- hepatitis B

- tetanus

- measles

- Haemophilus influenzae Type B

- diphtheria

- mumps

- rubella

- pertussis

- varicella (only for children born in 2017 or after)

NON-COMPULSORY ADDITIONALLY RECOMMENDED VACCINES

- anti-meningococcal B*

- anti-meningococcal C* 

- pneumococcal vaccines*

- rotavirus*

* The list of extra vaccines will be updated by the Ministry of Health every three years. 

WHO HAS TO BE VACCINATED?

All children aged 0 to 16 who are resident in Italy. The vaccinations are compulsory for school children who are enrolling for the first time as well as returning students. Parents or legal guardians of both Italian and foreign residents have to follow the new guidelines or risk being fined.

HOW TO GET VACCINATED?

Parents can book a free vaccination appointment via CUP at their local chemist. 

There is a national vaccination calendar which is linked to birth dates. 

Parents who are new to the system should register with their nearest Agenzia Sanitaria Locale (ASL - local health agency) and get a login and password. 

 DEADLINES

All pre-school and primary school children must get the ten vaccines by September 10th, 2017.

All other children aged 16 and under by October 31st, 2017

If parents cannot get the vaccinations done on time, they should request an appointment at their nearest Agenzia Sanitaria Locale (ASL) and present the subsequent paperwork to a school. 

EXCEPTIONS

Schools will only accept a doctor's letter stating medical reasons why a child cannot be vaccinated. 

PUNISHMENTS

Fines of between €100 and €500 for families that fail to vaccinate their children. Where there is no contrary medical evidence, children could be prevented from enrolling in school and parents could continue to receive penalties. 

INFORMATION

Dial the free information hotline at: 1500

Visit the Ministry of Health's specialized site

Order an appointment for vaccinations online. 

READ MORE: OPINION: 'Italy's mandatory vaccine law should be adopted worldwide'

 

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