Italy Changes Vaccination Policy, Again
Travel Alert reissued for Italy regarding measles outbreak
School-age children in Italy without proof of vaccination were turned away from nurseries on March 12, 2019, after the country’s government changed its policy, reported The Telegraph.
In a reversal of vaccination policy, Italian children are now required to certify that they have received certain immunizations, including the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine.
Under the revised law:
- Children over 6 cannot be banned from school, but their parents will be fined up to $565 USD
- Children under 6 can be barred from attending nursery schools and kindergartens if their parents fail to present written evidence that they have had the required vaccinations
This change in Italy’s vaccination policy may be related to the ongoing measles outbreak.
During November 2018, a measles emergency was declared in Italy.
“There is a measles emergency,” said Vittorio Demicheli, vaccines consultant to the Ministry of Health, “and it is in this age group [<16] that the next national plan for the elimination of the disease will dedicate particular attention to.”
The Italian health ministry said it would deliver 800,000 children and health workers MMR vaccinations.
To warn visitors traveling to Italy, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) re-issued a Level 1 Travel Alert on March 11, 2019.
This CDC Travel Alert says ‘Travelers to Italy should make sure they are vaccinated against measles with the MMR vaccine.'
‘People who cannot show that they were vaccinated or are otherwise protected against measles should get vaccinated before leaving the United States.’
Measles is a disease that can lead to serious complications, such as pneumonia (infection of the lungs), and even death, says the CDC.
Measles is caused by a highly-contagious virus that is spread through the air by breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Signs and symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, and a cough, runny nose, or red, watery eyes.
International travelers can easily request a vaccination appointment with a local pharmacy at Vax-Before-Travel.
Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. You are encouraged to report negative side effects of vaccines to the FDA or CDC.