Countries such as Italy, Germany and France have already passed new laws designed to force vaccinations on children against the will of their parents.
Msn.com reports: Now it seems Australia and a number of countries in Europe are fed up enough with vaccine-refusing parents that they’re experimenting with punitive measures. We haven’t quite reached the level of child abuse charges, but moms and dads in these countries may face fines if they fail to give their kids the recommended shots. In Australia, schools that let the unvaccinated kids in would be fined too. This marks a pretty aggressive shift in how we manage vaccine refusers and the costly, deadly outbreaks of diseases like measles and whooping cough they help spark.
Here’s a quick roundup of the global crackdown on vaccine-refusing parents:
Italy’s parliament recently passed a law that makes 10 childhood vaccinations mandatory for kids up to age 16, and requires parents to prove their children are immunized before entering school or else face a €500 (about $600 USD) noncompliance fine.
Germany is also cracking down on vaccine-refusing parents, considering fines of up to €2,500 (about $3,000 USD) for parents who refuse counseling from their doctors about vaccines.
In France, the health ministry is making 11 vaccines — up from the current three (diphtheria, tetanus, and polio) — mandatory for children by 2018, though there’s no talk of a fine there yet.
Further afield, the state of South Australia
is considering punishing vaccine-denier enablers with its “no jab, no play” legislation: The law would ban unvaccinated kids from preschool and day care and fine schools that admit un-immunized children $30,000 Australian dollars ($24,000 USD). The law in South Australia is modeled on similarly stringent laws in other Australian states, and across the country, parents with children who aren’t immunized aren’t eligible for child care benefits.
Europe has long struggled with a vaccine mistrust problem (more on that here
), and these new laws or policy proposals arose in the context of ongoing, unprecedented measles outbreaks across the continent. Australia has also dealt with its share of vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks, and the government crackdown is part of a push to get 95 percent of Australian children
vaccinated with routine immunizations, above the current rate of 93 percent.