Following the news on March 12, 2019 that young children in Italy will be required to provide evidence that they have received the recommended vaccinations in order to attend nursery or kindergarten,
James Mather, MChem, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view on the future impact of Italy’s return to mandatory vaccines:
“This quick change in immunization policy followed the expiry of a temporary measure introduced by the Italian coalition government’s Health Ministry, which stipulated that children could attend school as long as their parents stated they had received the required vaccinations without providing physical evidence from a doctor.
“Over the past decade there has been a rise in vaccine hesitancy amongst parents, resulting in declining vaccination rates across Europe and North America. Vaccine hesitancy has been linked to an increase in the spread of misinformation across emerging media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, and has also been linked very closely with a rise in populist political parties.
“The populist coalition government were strongly opposed to mandatory vaccinations originally, but thankfully their decision to not extend the measure blocking the Lorenzin law could help the Italian pediatric vaccination rates recover, and hopefully achieve the WHO’s target of 95% vaccine coverage. The WHO’s target is an extremely important goal in order to stop recurrent breakouts of vaccine-preventable diseases, which have been increasingly common across the US and Europe in recent years, by providing herd immunity for the population.”