France Implements Provision That Restricts Unvaccinated Individuals From Restaurants, Bars, Tourist Destinations, And Sport Venues
France has adopted a new law that bans unvaccinated children from attending public daycares and schools, as well as prohibiting those who have not been vaccinated from attending sports events or visiting restaurants. This comes after an increase in measles cases, the first since the disease was considered eliminated in 2000.
Despite having one of the highest rates of vaccination among European countries, France’s Health Minister Agnès Buzyn said that there had been almost 2,500 cases of measles reported this year alone and attributed it directly to a rise in vaccine hesitancy. As a result, the measure is seen as an attempt to encourage more citizens to vaccinate their children and protect those who cannot be vaccinated, such as those with weakened immune systems.
“This new law reflects an ongoing push toward the mandatory vaccination of French citizens. We have previously seen this debate in California, where vaccine hesitancy has led to outbreaks of preventable diseases.” -Lucas Stewart, ProCon.org Content Specialist & Intern at American Academy of Political Science
“I think that if you are going to exclude children from daycares just because they are not vaccinated it is very wrong because by doing so you will increase health inequalities between social classes.” -Isabella Girones-Gaudez, ProCon.org Student Intern & Undergraduate at Ramon Llull University.
French lawmakers passed a bill today to make it compulsory for parents to vaccinate their children against measles, as the number of cases in Europe’s recent outbreak topped 100.
The measure makes France the latest European country to require immunization after Italy and Germany set similar rules requiring parents to provide proof that their child has been vaccinated before entering preschool.
Parents will face a fine of up to $832 if they don’t comply with the law, which was approved by a wide margin in both houses of Parliament. It is also aimed at adult travelers from abroad who may have not received the required vaccines before visiting France.
“Vaccination is one of our civic duties,” said Alain Fauconnier, the lawmaker behind the bill.
Vaccination is also “a crucial element in the fight against infectious diseases,” he said to parliament members before the vote.
The bill comes at a time when Europe has been grappling with an epidemic of measles, which can cause hearing loss, brain damage and even death. So far this year there have been 102 cases of measles in France compared with 37 for all of 2018. Last month 18 European countries reported outbreaks in their communities after Europe recorded its highest number of measles cases in a decade last year, according to the World Health Organization.