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Tens of thousands of people have joined anti-vaccination protests in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Italy, according to media reports.
Tens of thousands of people have joined anti-vaccination protests in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and Croatia, according to media reports.
Some 140 protesters from the Italian town of Hamsa marched on government buildings in central Rome, demanding stricter measures to reduce the number of children who are forcibly excluded from schools because of health ailments.
Among them were hundreds of parents who participated in a day of events promoting a culture of vaccination in Rome.
The protests are part of an ongoing campaign by some well-known European groups demanding that parents have greater control over whether children are vaccinated. The campaigns have grown in recent years as some people believe — often erroneously — that vaccines cause health problems.
A recent government study showed that the percentage of children in attendance at Italian schools that have been expelled over vaccine concerns is extremely rare.
However, experts say the balance is tipped in favor of vaccines due to public health concerns.
“The balance of evidence strongly favours the availability of vaccines,” as opposed to restrictions, said Vittorio Cecchi, coordinator of the department of infectious diseases at the Italian Ministry of Health, in a statement.
Anti-vaccination protests began around the world a few years ago as well.
These included a controversial event in the United States in February with roughly 1,000 people participating in a rally against HPV vaccination.