MILAN, Feb 16 (APM) - Italy’s compulsory vaccine programme will not be delayed despite opposition and the risk some children will not be able to attend school, Corriere della Sera reported on Sunday.
The policy has become one of the issues in the election campaign, with voting set to take place a few days before it comes into force on March 10. Parents of any children under 16 without all the 10 mandatory vaccinations will face fines. The only exception will be for parents who have already booked a vaccination for after March 10.
Health minister Beatrice Lorenzin has ruled out a last-minute change of heart or any delay in the introduction of the programme. “Parents who fail to comply will have to pay. I hope there aren’t many, because they are putting the health of their children and their school companions at serious risk. We have to think about those who are unable to be immunised,” the minister was reported as saying during an election campaign meeting.
Politicians and even some of the parties are divided in their views on mandatory vaccination. Rome’s Five Star Movement mayor, Virginia Raggi, has had a motion approved by the city council which will allow children to attend school even if they have not had all the vaccinations, the paper said.
Pharma industry, unions agree job creation scheme
Italian pharma and unions have agreed a plan to help young people to find jobs in the industry, Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Thursday.
The aim is to encourage older employees, including senior staff, to make way for younger colleagues through early retirement and other schemes, the paper said. A fund is being set up to pay for the necessary services. It will be managed by pensions and social security agency INPS.
The fund, the first of its kind in Italy, will be used to provide bonus payments to recompense older employees who leave. It will also finance retraining programmes so employees can move into more innovative and productive areas.
It is hoped the scheme will drive innovation in the pharma industry, making companies more technologically competitive and able to exploit new scientific opportunities.
Therapeutic cannabis shortages worsen
Thousands of people with a range of illnesses are still unable to find therapeutic cannabis as demand soars, Il Manifesto reported on Thursday.
The paper blamed too little capacity at the military facility that produces cannabis at a site in Florence. But doctors refusing to prescribe the drug for ethical reasons and too few pharmacies equipped to prepare the prescriptions for patients are also a problem. Many patients are being forced to buy from street dealers, the paper said.
A new law was introduced to allow patients to be prescribed cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The diseases that qualify include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Tourette syndrome, Parkinson’s and Crohn’s disease, epilepsy and anorexia, the paper said.
Dutch firm Bedocran, which used to be Italy’s main supplier before the military facility started up, has sent a consignment of 250 kg. But it is unlikely to be sufficient.
Patient groups try to make rheumatism an election issue
Patient groups have written to the different political parties in a bid to make rheumatism an election issue, Quotidiano Sanità reported on Monday.
Several regional and national associations co-signed a letter claiming that rheumatism is one of the health ministry’s lowest priorities despite more than five million Italians living with the condition.
They want a national plan for chronic diseases to be activated and the creation of therapeutic pathways for patients which would include automatic access to any new drugs which are approved by medicines agency AIFA, the paper said.
Dutch judge to decide EMA relocation case
It will be a Dutch judge, Marc van der Woude, who will decide on Italy’s appeal against the relocation of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to Amsterdam, according to Sunday’s Il Giorno.
It said the appointment must be either an ironic twist in the legal procedure or another put-down for Italy. Milan’s mayor Giuseppe Sala played down the news but promised to fight the case all the way after speaking with prime minister Paolo Gentiloni, the paper reported.
Sunday’s La Verità published a letter from a man who described the choice of a Dutch judge as a slap in the face for Italy and reflects how the EU discriminates against the county.