France to Require All Parents Vaccinate Their Children

France will require all parents vaccinate their children, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe announced in a speech on Wednesday. The announcement follows a warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) that measles is spreading across Europe, despite vaccines which can prevent the virus, Independent reported.

France currently requires all children to be vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and polio, and will add eight more required vaccinations — pertussis, measles, mumps, rubella, hepatitis B, Haemophilus influenzae bacteria, pneumococcus and meningococcus C — starting in 2018.

France is not the only country to have a rise in measles. In 2017, CNN reported 73 confirmed cases of measles in Minnesota, compared to 70 cases of measles in the entire U.S. in 2016, a majority of whom were unvaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is likely a result of antivaccination sentiments surrounding the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine.

“Measles is a dangerous and vaccine-preventable disease. There is no reason to decline MMR unless the individual is too young to be vaccinated or has a severe immunodeficiency and they cannot be vaccinated,” Patricia Stinchfield, director of infection prevention and control for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, told CNN. “The reason we vaccinate is because of the potential for infection of the brain or lungs that can cause permanent and lasting damage. Death from measles is one to two per 1,000 cases because there is no antiviral medicine against measles. All we can do is provide IV fluids, oxygen and support and hope they survive,” she said.

Many antivaxxers falsely claim the MMR vaccine causes autism spectrum disorder, a statement which has been repeatedly disproven. In 1998, the Lancet published a study which claimed autism was linked to the MMR vaccine. The publication then retracted the study in 2010 after scientists were unable to replicate its findings, and the study’s author, Andrew Wakefield, lost his medical license.

France now joins Italy in mandating vaccines. In Italy, to attend a state-sponsored school, all children must be vaccinated.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Autism Spectrum Disorder

Confronting My Sexuality as Someone With Autism

I am asexual, which for me means that I do not view people in a sexual way, or think about sex. I’m also gray romantic, meaning that I lack romantic attraction to a certain extent. I could also be called bi or panromantic, because I could see myself in a semi-romantic relationship with someone of [...]
three paintings, one of pink trees, one of waterfall, one of the moon

Zenaviv Sells Work by Artists on the Autism Spectrum

After Himal Bikmal was diagnosed on the autism spectrum, his parents began researching everything they could. What they learned about their son and autism turned into Zenaviv, a company which sells artwork created by people on the autism spectrum. Because Himal is nonverbal, Harrish Bikmal and his wife Sandhya worked with a few researchers to help [...]
McDonald's french fries on a table next to a McDonald's beverage cup

To the McDonald’s Employee Who Double-Checked My Order: Thank You

I was with a friend shopping late one afternoon, and we decided we were hungry, so we stopped by McDonald’s for a quick bite. As someone on the autism spectrum, I’ve always been sensitive to certain foods. Some might consider me to be a “picky” eater. I have tried new foods over the years, but [...]
Children raising their hands in classroom during teacher's math lesson

How I Encouraged My Autistic Son’s Interest in Numbers and Math

When my son turned 3 years old, I noticed he was interested in numbers. He learned how to count one until 20 at the age of 4 and could count one to 100 at 5 years of age. He learned all these through self-teaching by watching a children’s educational show on TV. I was amazed [...]