Mandating vaccinations

Italy passed a similar decree in May, requiring children to receive 10 vaccines as a condition for school enrollment.Germany, while stopping short of a mandate, has moved to tighten its laws on child immunization.“You need people to consciously exempt, knowing fully the risks that they’re taking.” Experts acknowledge that an exemption risks opening the floodgates to an increasingly skeptical public, pointing to what they see as a need for greater awareness.

Last week, the French Health Ministry announced plans to make 11 vaccines mandatory for young children by 2018.

French law currently mandates three vaccines — diphtheria, tetanus, and polio — for children under the age of two.

Conspiracies have even filtered into the French medical community, converting French doctors and fueling calls among some for more intensive vaccine education in medical schools.

“At the beginning, only a few [doctors] were critical or skeptical, but now the rates are much higher,” Raude says.

(Press Release, Ministry of Health, Le Novità del Decreto Legge sui Vaccini [News of the Decree-Law on Vaccinations] (May 19, 2017).) .) The vaccinations are designed to protect children from 12 diseases: chickenpox, diphtheria, haemophilus B (Hib), hepatitis B, meningitis B and C, measles, mumps, polio, rubella, tetanus, and whooping cough.

( The compulsory vaccinations may only be omitted or deferred in cases of proven danger to the health of the child, when specific clinical conditions, duly documented, are present.Such an exemption would help the government balance public health with individual liberties, Larson says, though she believes it shouldn’t be too easy to obtain.“When they do put in these exemptions, it should be more than checking a box,” says Larson.“The difference between France and the Anglo-Saxon world is that there are very few citizen groups or associations that mobilize in favor of vaccinations,” says Jocelyn Raude, a sociologist at the EHESP French School of Public Health, who describes the call for mandatory vaccines as “courageous.” Raude says that over time, a “constellation” of anti-vaccine groups has emerged online, uniting both far-left ecologists and far-right nationalists, like Le Pen.Recent controversies have helped fuel vaccine skepticism in France.(Le Novità del Decreto Legge sui Vaccini , .) During the 2017-2018 academic year, the Health Ministry, together with the Ministry of Education, Universities, and Research, will promote initiatives for the training of teachers and students on the subject of vaccinations; parents’ associations will also be involved in the campaign.