New Italian law requires students to be vaccinated or face repercussions

Italy bans unvaccinated kids from school

Children under six can be barred from attending nursery schools and kindergartens if their parents fail to present written evidence that they have had the required vaccinations.

The action takes place after months of national debate over imposed vaccination.

Under the law, children over six can not be banned from school but their parents will be fined up to €500 (£425).

Nicknamed the "Lorenzin law" after the health minister who introduced it, the law allows schools to suspend vaccinated children younger than six years old until they get the shots.

Children under 6 years old will be banned from attending nursery and kindergarten if parents can not provide proof of vaccination.

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"Italy's measles vaccine coverage was par with Namibia, lower than Ghana", San Raffaele University in Milan microbiology and virology professor Roberto Burioni told CNN past year. The mandatory vaccinations include chickenpox, polio, mumps, rubella, and - perhaps most crucially at this time - measles.

"Now everyone has had time to catch up", Health Minister Giulia Grillo told La Repubblica.

The law was slated to go into effect at the beginning of the school year in September, but Italy's anti-establishment Five Star government voted to amend the law, meaning it could not go into effect ahead of the new school year.

Such conspiracy theories have repeatedly been discredited by researchers and have no scientific backing, though the numbers of people who believe in them have become significant enough that the World Health Organisation (WHO) deemed the movement one of the top 10 global public health threats of 2019. It threatened to overturn the mandatory vaccination law passed by the previous government but ended up scrapping its plans in the face of criticism as the country experienced a measles outbreak last summer.

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