Some 80,000 Milan kids still not vaccinated

Deadline for vaccination nears.

Out of the 480,000 schoolchildren in the greater Milan area, over 78,000 – around 16 per cent – are still not up to date with their vaccinations as the 10 March deadline approaches.

Children attending up to scuola materna must complete the obligatory cycle before being admitted to school.  Parents or guardians of those attending higher-level schools face a fine unless they can prove their right to an exemption, for example because of pathologies which make vaccination dangerous or impossible.

Coverage of schoolchildren in greater Milan rose from 91.5 per cent in 2016 to 92.5 per cent in 2018. And when health minister Beatrice Lorenzin’s controversial new vaccination decree came into effect last July, 10,088 Milan schoolkids rushed to get their records up to date.

Medical experts agree that a minimum level of coverage must be reached to guarantee the immunity of the entire population, even though there is still discussion about exactly where that minimum level lies. And there is also some unresolved confusion about the conflict between obligatory vaccination and, in the case of unvaccinated kids being refused admission, their right to schooling.

While politicians wrangle over this conflict, making it one of the issues in the election campaign, the deadline of 10 March for producing a complete vaccination certificate draws closer.