In a twist of fate, an Italian politician who was lobbying against mandatory vaccination laws, has come down with chickenpox and is now hospitalized.
There has been several outbreaks of vaccine-preventable measles because of inadequate vaccine coverage of the population. Prime reason behind this is the anti-vaccination groups that propagate vaccination conspiracy theories.
The Lorenzin decree was recently introduced in the country requireming ewborn babies born between 2001 to 2017 to be vaccinated for entry into school. Parents, under this law are warned that their unvaccinated children would be barred from attending nursery or preschool. Older children’s parents would have to cough up fines ranging from 100 euros ($A160) and 500 euros ($A800) if they fail to vavvinate their children.
Massimiliano Fedriga, a member of Italy’s far-right League party had opposed this decree and now for the last four days he has been hospitalized with a vaccine preventable viral illness – chickenpox. He had recently opposed compulsory vaccinations against 12 diseases including the one he contracted.
Mr Fedriga is the president of the Friuli-Venezia Giulia region and has said in a statement that his children are vaccinated. He said he was opposed to the idea of vaccination being made mandatory. “I’m fine, I’m at home in convalescence, and I thank everyone,” he said. After the social media noise on his being an anti-vaxxer and now ill with the very same disease, he has said, “I have always said that I am in favour of vaccines and to achieve the result is necessary to form an alliance with families, not impose (it on them). (The critics) even said I would get chickenpox from my children, not realising that my children are vaccinated (as I have stated in many interviews).”
Experts have opined that it was good thing that the leader’s children were vaccinated. They have said that these viral illnesses can become severe and even fatal when it affects adults. Pregnant women who get chicken pox for example may face a miscarriage or severe harm to their unborn baby. Similarly a person with a compromised immunity may also face severe consequences of these vaccine-preventable viral infections. It is important that large part of the population gets vaccinated, say experts.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that 95 percent of the population needs to be vaccinated against these infections to protect them from outbreaks. Italy has not met its 95 per cent recommended vaccination rate. As a result there have been 165 cases of measles this January.