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Italy to stop anti-scientific theories, makes 12 vaccinations compulsory for children

Staff Writer |
The government in Italy has ruled that children must be vaccinated against 12 common illnesses before they can enrol for state-run schools.

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Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni blamed a decrease in vaccinations in part on a "spread of anti-scientific theories".

Italy has recorded nearly three times as many measles cases so far this year than for all of 2016.

If children are not vaccinated by the age of six, the school starting age, their parents will be fined.

Conspiracy theories about the health risks of certain vaccinations - largely based on one discredited paper - have circulated around the world, leading some parents to shun immunisation.

In Italy, the number of two-year-olds vaccinated against measles has dropped from more than 90% to below 80%.

This is well short of the World Health Organization's recommended coverage of 95% or more.

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