Italian politician who opposed making chickenpox vaccinations mandatory gets chickenpox
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An Italian politician known for his vocal opposition to a new law mandating that school-aged children be immunized against several diseases, including chickenpox, has come down with the chickenpox.

Massimiliano Fedriga, a member of the far-right League party, was placed under observation for four days last week after contracting the disease, according to local news outlets.

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Fedriga was a chief detractor of the so-called Lorenzin law, which mandates that school-aged children be immunized against chickenpox, measles, polio and more. Parents who do not comply can be fined up to $560 for sending their unvaccinated children to school, and kindergartens and preschools have the option of turning away children under 6 years old who haven’t received the necessary immunizations. 

The Italian politician claimed in a Facebook post that he does not oppose vaccinations and has vaccinated his children. 

“I have always said that I am in favor of vaccines, but to achieve the result it is necessary to have an alliance with families, not imposition,” he said.

Roberto Burioni, a renowned Italian microbiologist, said on social media that he hopes Fedriga’s illness will alert other skeptical parents of the advantages of vaccines.

“If he had infected a pregnant woman we would be facing a malformed child or an abortion,” Burioni wrote on Facebook. “The only way we have to avoid such tragedies ... is to inoculate everyone to prevent the circulation of this dangerous virus, which could have hit a more vulnerable person.”