Lazio Region considers obligatory vaccines for children

Lazio plan for kindergarten children comes as Tuscany battles meningitis outbreak.

Vaccinations against some infectious diseases should be obligatory for all children attending kindergarten in the Lazio Region, according to a proposal by Lazio Region president Nicola Zingaretti.

The proposal comes as Tuscany grapples with an ongoing epidemic of meningitis, both B and C strains, which has affected 58 people and claimed 14 lives since the beginning of 2015.

Tuscany's regional health authorities are now considering the introduction of three rounds of anti-meningococcal vaccines for children, which protects against both strains of meningitis.

Under the plan, the first round would be administered at 13-15 months, as is current normal procedure, but with an extra two rounds at the ages of seven and 14.

Italian health minister Beatrice Lorenzin has said that a vaccination plan introduced recently by health authorities in the Emilia-Romagna region should serve as "an example for other regions."

Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, and is caused by viral or bacterial infection. The first symptoms include fever, vomiting, headaches, muscular rigidity, and sensitivity to light.