Vaccination is a hot button issue today. A wave of misinformation and hysteria has swept social media. Fraudulent studies lead some parents to believe there is a link between some common vaccine ingredients and Autism Spectrum Disorders.
No such link has ever been observed. The study that started the hysteria was debunked long ago and its author was stripped of his medical license. In this tense moment in vaccine culture, many countries now require vaccines. We've gathered a list of ten to familiarize you with this global practice.
Many countries around the world require vaccines for children to be allowed to attend school. Italy has some of the strictest of these laws. All children in state-run schools must be vaccinated. There are 10 diseases each student must provide proof of vaccination against.
Parents face fines if their children are not vaccinated against all 10 by the age of 6. This policy ensures that children in Italian schools are safe from some of the world's most contagious and deadly diseases. These laws were introduced after the vaccination rate went down and measles infections went up. The government was concerned by the rise in anti-vaccine sentiment and took swift action.
Failure to vaccinate proves to be deadly in Romania. Nearly 40 children died in a 2018 measles outbreak. Public opinion regarding parents who don't vaccinate their children is negative in Romania. Many blame the recent rise in measles problems on parents frightened by misinformation.
Since 2016 12,000 people have contracted measles in the country. Minority groups in the country are some of the hardest hit communities. The government aims to reduce the tragedy by requiring 10 compulsory vaccines including Measles.
France is on the stricter end of the compulsory vaccine spectrum They require a total of 11 vaccinations in order for children to be permitted to attend state-run schools. This legislation is a bold action by the French government to stamp out vaccine skepticism. France has one of the highest vaccine rejection rates in the world.
The French minister of solidarity and health has released a statement that obligating people to make choices goes against her character but the inherent risks of not vaccinating justify the extreme legislation.
Finland enjoys some of the highest vaccination rates in Europe but they're still less than 100%. The Finish government hopes to change that with new legislation making vaccination compulsory for workers in some industries.
In order to protect the country's most vulnerable as well as the general population those employed in healthcare will be required to receive many vaccines. Students learning in healthcare environments will have to meet the requirements too. This "no jab, no job" policy hopes to reduce the chance of infection in sensitive environments.
Parents in Poland are required to vaccinate their children but not all vaccines are compulsory. Vaccines that are recommended are the financial responsibility of parents. Mandatory vaccines are provided by the national health fund and do not cost parents a dime.
There are 11 vaccines on the national schedule. Parents who express anti-vaccination sentiments in Poland are not only approached by their pediatricians but they're visited at home by representatives of the health department to provide education and resources.
Australia is home to some pretty strict vaccine laws and they're working. They have very low rates of infection for some of the most dangerous childhood diseases. Not only do Australian schools require vaccination but now play centers and daycare facilities require them as well.
The laws include strict penalties, including fines of nearly $25,000 dollars, against any facility found to have admitted an unvaccinated child. These laws are a sign that authorities are cracking down on the anti-vaccination movement.
Parents in India will need to vaccinate their kids against 5 of the deadliest childhood diseases in order to enroll their children in schools. This policy has the ambition to free the country of all cases of Diphtheria, Pertussis, Tetanus, Hepatitis-B, and Haemophilus Influenza-B.
Indian officials seek to eradicate these preventable infections. The policy is being policed hardest in some of the poorest and most vulnerable parts of India where students are at most risk for illness.
Many countries offer exemptions to parents who do not wish to vaccinate their children. The most common of these are religious exemptions. Few offer a non-religious option. Hungary offers no such exemptions for any circumstance.
Pediatricians in the country can petition for a medical exception but they risk losing their license to practice medicine if there isn't a sound reason. The state government has the right to overrule any medical exemption put forward by a doctor. Parents who refuse vaccines are reported to and investigated by child protective services.
The Croatian government has taken one of the most strict and adversarial stances against the anti-vaccination movement. The country came to the decision that children had a greater right to health than their parents had to choose.
This hardline stance is working for the country. There have been zero reported cases of Pertussis, Diphtheria, Measles, or Polio in years. It's hard to argue against evidence like that. High vaccine rates lead to healthier populations.
1 Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has one of the lowest rates of vaccine confidence in the European Union. This has lead to a drop in vaccine rates. Measles outbreaks in the country tripled in 2018. The link between low vaccine rates and increases in measles outbreaks have been proven and documented.
Vaccinations are mandatory in the Czech Republic but there is little a physician can do if parents refuse to innoculate. There's no way for these laws to be enforced so they're doing little to fight the tide of vaccine misinformation.