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  • Should Italian Parents Start Vaccinating Their Kids Again?

    A measles outbreak puts the controversial subject of vaccinations in the spotlight in Italy
    Our Paesani

    By Francesca Di Meglio

    Italy's measles outbreak is concerning health care providers the world over. The country is reporting 1,600 cases of measles in 19 of 21 regions in 2017, according to CNN. To give you some perspective, the Italian health ministry reported that there were only 840 cases in 2016 and 250 in 2015, according to the Guardian.

    This experience is coinciding with an outbreak in Romania, which has Europe on edge. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a warning for those traveling to Romania and Italy to ensure they were aware of the outbreaks and vaccinated for their protection.

    Measles are hardly surprising. Across the world parents are wondering if vaccinations are safe. For many years, people have debated whether it was necessary to vaccinate for diseases that many have had and survived. In addition, some misinformation has spread connecting autism spectrum disorder to vaccinations.

    "The Higher Health Institute says only around 85 percent of 2-year-olds are being vaccinated against measles at present, well below the 95 percent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization to block the illness," according to the Guardian.

    Many Italians, including controversial political figure and comedian Beppe Grillo, have suggested that the side-effects of vaccinations make people weary of them. Some experts say this is just part of the "natural cycle" when dealing with diseases.

    Nonetheless, discover some reasons to reconsider vaccinations in Italy (or anywhere else):

    Responsibility to your fellow man
    When you don't vaccinate your child, you're making a decision for all the children – not to mention adults – who are not vaccinated and come into contact with your kid. Being a good neighbor means considering those around you. This is no different.

    Minimizing risk
    Sure, many people have had measles and chicken pox and other similar illnesses and survived. But 21 people with measles have died in Romania. And 40 percent of the infected Italians ended up in the hospital, according to CNN. Most of the infected are older than 15 and were not vaccinated as children.

    Peace of mind
    No one wants to worry about what ifs, nor does she want to regret a decision such as not vaccinating her child. Getting vaccinations for your child (not to mention yourself) gives you one less thing about which to worry.

    Di Meglio has written the Our Paesani column for since 2003. You can follow the Italian Mamma on Facebook or Twitter @ItalianMamma10.

    Article Published 4/24/17


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