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On 4 December 2017, French parliamentarians passed a law extending the vaccination mandates for children up to 2 years of age from three vaccinations (against diphtheria, tetanus and poliomyelitis) to 11 by adding vaccinations against pertussis, (Hib), hepatitis B, pneumococcal diseases, meningococcal C diseases, measles, mumps and rubella. This vote follows a recommendation made by the Steering Committee of the Citizen Consultation on Vaccination that took place in 2016. The law applies to all children born after 1 January 2018. Parents who do not fulfil the mandate will not be fined but non-vaccinated children will not be admitted to any collective child services such as nurseries or schools. No exemption other than for medical reasons will be considered. Here we describe the historical background of this evolution and its main epidemiological, sociological and policy drivers. They mainly refer to insufficient vaccine coverage, persistence of a preventable burden for some diseases and growing vaccine hesitancy in the French population. We also discuss some of the challenges and conditions of success.


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