There are currently only three child vaccinations required by law in France: diphtheria, tetanus and polio. For 2018, the new French Minister of Health, Agnes Buzyn, decided to extend the number of mandatory vaccinations to 11 in an effort to crack down on increasing rates of historic viruses and diseases. The new additions are: haemophilus influenzae B, whooping cough, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, meningococcal C and pneumococcal.
Following the World Health Organisation’s warning of major recent measles outbreaks across Europe, some member nations have taken extra measures to avoid the spread of epidemics.
As such, France and Italy have made certain vaccines compulsory in the New Year. Starting on 1st January 2018, there will be a total of 11 compulsory vaccinations in France for children under two years of age. These will be entirely financed via the social security system.
At present, these vaccinations are only recommended and the decision whether or not to inoculate a child is left to the parents. From 2018, parents who do not adhere to the recent decree will be threatened with a fine of more than 3,000€ and possible prison time. Children who are not vaccinated may also have difficulties enrolling into any public facilities such as nurseries, kindergartens or schools.
“We will obviously leave time for families to get in order because it is out of the question to push people to vaccinate with urgency,” reassured the Minister of Health last Thursday morning.
On the other side of the Channel, the United Kingdom has not yet taken the step to make vaccines mandatory. However, the National Health Service (NHS) has issued a routine immunisation schedule for this autumn. It is recommended to have young infants vaccinated against: diphteria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), polio, haemophilus influenzae type b, hepaptis B, pneumococcal, meningococcal group B and rotavirus gastroenteritis.
In the United States, compulsory vaccinations vary between states. The US department of Health and Human Services has issued recommendations for hepatitis A and B, rotavirus, diphteria, tetanus, haemophilus influenzae, pneumococcal, measles, mumps, rubella, varicella and HPV for individuals between 18 months and 18 years of age. There are also stricter immunisation requirements for immigrants.