Compulsory vaccinations: the novelties of the decree

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Catherine Le Nevez
@catherinelenevez
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The Decree Law on vaccinations has been in force since 8 June, approved on May 19 by the Council of Ministers. And from next Monday the decree will be under discussion in Parliament - where it could undergo changes - for conversion into law.



The provisions contained in the text are already valid, and therefore are valid for the next school year

The newness


Compared to what was announced two weeks ago, the text of the decree contains two important changes:



  • the possibility of presenting, for enrollment in school, a self-certification of vaccinations performed by the child;
  • in case of involvement of the Juvenile Court (if a child has not been vaccinated for reasons other than medical ones), the "suspension of parental responsibility" is no longer specifically mentioned.

Watch the video explaining mandatory vaccinations in under two and a half minutes

Why a decree


The reasons are expressed in the first article: to ensure the protection of public health compared to preventable infectious diseases with vaccines, thanks to the maintenance of adequate vaccination coverage, and to respect the obligations assumed at European and international level in this area.



The reference is to the fact that, in recent years, in Del Paese there has been a progressive decline in coverage for some vaccinations. This decline puts the entire population at risk and could be partly responsible for the ongoing measles epidemic in our country.

The 12 mandatory vaccines


All vaccinations already announced are confirmed:



  • anti-poliomyelitis;
  • anti-diphtheriae;
  • anti-tetanica;
  • anti-hepatitis B;
  • whooping cough;
  • anti Haemophilus influenzae tipo B;
  • anti-meningococcal B;
  • anti-meningococcica C;
  • anti-measles;
  • anti-rubella;
  • anti-mumps;
  • anti-varicella.

All vaccinations indicated as mandatory (but also those recommended by the National Vaccine Prevention Plan - i.e., in addition, anti-pneumococcal, anti-HPV and anti-rotavirus) are for free.

Read also: compulsory vaccinations, the calendar

What happens if you don't vaccinate


In the text of the decree, the sanctions already announced for those who decide not to vaccinate their children:

  • Prohibition of enrollment in kindergarten or preschool (also non-equal private institutions);
  • For those who must attend compulsory school (elementary, middle and first two years of high school, up to 16 years) there is no ban on enrollment but there are economic sanctions and possibly reporting by the ASL to Juvenile Court.
The obligation of vaccinations in brief
Without vaccinations, it is forbidden to enroll children in nurseries and nurseries (from 0 to 6 years). Penalties instead for parents of children who attend elementary school, middle school and the first two years of high school if their children are not okay with vaccines. The amount of the fine ranges from 500 to 7500 euros.

Year of birth and vaccines


But be careful: not all children have to do all the 12 compulsory vaccinations. The decree, in fact, specifies that those requests are related to the "birth cohort", i.e. at the age of the child at the time of enrollment in school.

On the one hand, this means that a child who starts nursery at 8 months does not already have to be vaccinated for measles-rubella-mumps, as this vaccination is scheduled between 13 and 15 months. (Obviously, however, it will have to be vaccinated on schedule).

On the other hand, it means that children do not have to be vaccinated with vaccines that, at the time they were immunized, were not foreseen in the vaccination schedule then in force. As detailed in a guide to the decree of the Ministry of Health:

Born 2001-2022

They must have done thehexavalent (anti hepatitis B, tetanus, pertussis, polio, diphtheria, Haemophilus influenzae b) and trivalent MPR (anti measles, mumps and rubella), for a total of 9 vaccinations.

Born 2022-2022

They must have done hexavalent, trivalent MPR and anti-meningococcal C, for a total of 10 vaccines.

Born in 2022

They will have to get all the vaccines of those born in previous years (hexavalent, trivalent, meningococcus C) plus meningococcus B and chicken pox, for a total of 12 vaccines. However, this does not mean that you have to do 12 injections, as many vaccines are multipurpose.

For those born from 2001 onwards, all vaccinations indicated as mandatory are free. Vaccinations are also free when it is necessary to recover doses not yet carried out (for example the 2-year-old child who has yet to carry out anti-measles).

Possible exceptions: who can not get vaccinated


The decree establishes two particular cases in which vaccinations can be avoided (or postponed):

1. If the child has already had the disease which should be avoided by the vaccine. To document the disease, however, the simple declaration of the parents or the attending physician is not enough, but the disease reporting that the pediatrician must have made to the ASL when the child became ill (it is a notification that the doctor should have made, by law, in case of infectious diseases). If this report is not available, the doctor will request blood tests (antibody tests) to show that there has indeed been immunization.

2. For particular health conditions, which make vaccination temporarily or permanently inappropriate. "Vaccines should be avoided if the child has had one on a previous vaccination anaphylactic shock, that is a very serious allergic reaction, at risk of death "explains Alessandro Capolongo, family pediatrician in the province of Ascoli Piceno and co-founder of the vaccination network of the Paesena Federation of Pediatricians.

Then there are situations in which certain vaccines are simply postponed: "For example, the trivalent with measles, mumps and rubella, which contains live attenuated viruses, if the child is in a condition of temporary immunosuppression, for example because he has cancer and is being treated with chemotherapy ".

To certify these conditions must be the general practitioner or pediatrician of free choice.

In class without vaccine
What happens at school if a child cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons? The decree is clear: in this case, he should be welcomed in a class where only vaccinated or immunized children are present (that is, those who have had the disease).

What to do if the child is up to date with vaccinations


Just collect the vaccination certificate from the ASL, to be delivered to the school for registration without problems. Self-certification is also possible: in this case, the original documents must be delivered by 10 July. If the child has not yet been vaccinated but - according to the vaccination schedule - it should be at a time after enrollment, the request for vaccination advanced to the ASL must be presented, or the call document for the vaccination session of the ASL itself.


This is valid in general, but since enrollment is generally carried out within the first months of the year - now outdated - for the school year 2022/2022 transitional provisions apply.

How to move for the next school year (2022/2022)


Since the registration has already been made, for 2022/2022 the documentation of completed (or planned) vaccination must be delivered by 10 September. In case of self-certification, the original documents must be delivered to the school by March 10 2022.

What happens if the child is not up to date with vaccinations for reasons other than medical ones


The child who should go to the nursery or kindergarten (even non-equal private ones) cannot be enrolled: the doors of these schools remain closed.

If it is an older child (6-16 years), not vaccinated simply because the parents do not want to do it and not for medical reasons, the school notifies the ASL, which as a first step, calls the parents themselves inviting them to vaccinate. within a set deadline. If the rejection continues, click the fine: from 500 to 7500 euros (repeatable for each year). Also take the reporting to the Juvenile Court, "for any necessary obligations" (even if we no longer speak directly of suspension of parental authority).

Information and training
Article 2 of the Law Decree on compulsory vaccinations is entirely dedicated to the topic of information. The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education are committed to launching initiatives of teacher training and information for students and parents' associations on the subject of vaccinations. For this purpose, the figure of 2022 thousand euros has been allocated for 200, which should derive from the penalties applied in the event that parents of school-age children do not intend to vaccinate their children.

Updated on 13.06.2022

TAG:
  • vaccinations for children
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