The aim of this essay is to reflect on the governance of unvaccinated Italian children aged between zero and six years, due to the new regulatory system on mandatory vaccination in Italy (Law Decree no. 73/2017, converted into Law no. 119/2017). In order to strengthen and protect the right to health, the Italian government first, and then the lawmakers, set forth a specific prohibition preventing unvaccinated children from attending preschool, whether public or private. The first part of this paper deals with the opportunity to translate the access to preschool in the language of fundamental rights. It will then move to a deep analysis of D.-L. no. 73/2017 and its coercive system, with a view to highlighting contradictions and paradoxes therein. The paper will also argue that such legal approach to the phenomenon creates a perverse mechanism that affects children twice because of their parents’ choices, who not only deny children mandatory vaccination, but also prevent them from attending preschool. Even in the light of the recent proposal for a Council recommendation issued by the European Commission to strengthen cooperation against the vaccine hesitancy, the essay will finally tackle the issue of a possibly different governance for reducing the number of unvaccinated children.
Keywords: [Vaccination - Right to socialization - Right to education - Right to health - Public understanding of science]