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Govt to sanction parents who don't vaccinate their children

15 maggio 2017 | 19.00
LETTURA: 1 minuti

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The government is planning unspecified sanctions against parents who fail to immunise children attending state school, Italy's schools minister Valeria Fedeli said on Monday.

"If the number of children being vaccinated is falling, we need to convey the importance of having the obligatory jabs," Fedeli told SkyTg24.

"Given that the health minister has sounded the alarm, we must sanction the parents," she said.

The Italian government plans to approve legislation this week that will oblige all state school pupils to be immunised, health minister Beatrice Lorenzin said on Friday.

In an interview with daily Corriere della Sera, Lorenzin blamed "fake news" for the increased number of parents choosing not to immunise their children and said Italy was facing an infectious diseases crisis.

"The anti-vaccine movement has been around for years, but previously it was limited to certain social circles. The explosion happened with social media and fake news that have fuelled irrational fears," Lorenzin said.

"There is an emergency...the population is not adequately protected," she stated.

Measle cases rose more than fivefold across Italy in April from the same month of 2016, the National Health Institute reported in early May.

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