Children infected with measles in The Hague: pressure upped on vaccination law
This week, three children under the age of four became infected with measles at a nursery in The Hague. The children had not been vaccinated against the disease. A fourth child may also be infected.
Measles outbreak in The Hague
According to community health service GGD Haaglanden, one of the infected children is suspected to have caught measles whilst abroad on holiday and subsequently infected other children at the nursery. Of the children that have caught the disease, some are too young to be vaccinated against it.
In the Netherlands, children are vaccinated against measles, mumps and rubella at 14 months old. It is unclear as to why some of the infected children were not vaccinated. The GGD is currently looking into how worthwhile vaccinating or administering antibodies to people who came into contact with the children during their infectious period is.
Pressure to change the vaccination law
Coalition party D66 is now calling on the Dutch House of Representatives to make haste when it comes to a law that would allow nurseries and day care centres to refuse children who have not been vaccinated. D66 MP Rens Ramaekers blames the outbreak on the declining vaccination rate, with only 92 percent of children having received the measles jab. This is less than the 95 percent that the World Health Organisation considers safe and necessary to prevent the spread of disease.
Ramaekers has asked the Cabinet to take swift action regarding his legislative proposal. His proposal has the support of the three largest governing parties, as well as opposition parties GroenLinks and SP, and thus a parliamentary majority.