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Vaccination rate in the Netherlands stable but still below old level

Vaccination rate in the Netherlands stable but still below old level

Vaccination rate in the Netherlands stable but still below old level

According to a new report by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) detailing immunisation coverage in the Netherlands in 2018, the vaccination rate is no longer declining. It is, however, not yet back to its old level.

Vaccination rate in the Netherlands

According to RIVM figures, national immunisation coverage remained practically the same as it was in 2017 for most vaccinations. Last year, 90,2 percent of two year olds (born in 2016) had received all their vaccinations according to schedule and only 4,6 percent of children had not received any of the vaccinations for the 12 potentially fatal infectious diseases included in the National Immunisation Programme (NIP). These figures are comparable with those for children born in 2015.

When it comes to children turning 16, those born in 2003, a huge difference can be seen in the percentages of girls and boys who have received all of the immunisations in the NIP. The percentage of boys having received all vaccinations is 90,1 percent, compared to 47,7 percent of girls.

This peculiarity is due to the HPV vaccine, which is only offered to girls. The report states that only 45,5 percent of girls born in 2004 got the HPV jab. If we exclude the HPV vaccination, the percentage of girls fully vaccinated according to the NIP is 90,6 percent. Of all the children born in 2003, only 2,1 percent had not received a single vaccination from the NIP in the year that they would turn 16.

You may have heard about type-W meningococcal disease and the invitation sent out to teenagers across the country to receive a free vaccination. Well, the RIVM reports that the provisional national immunisation coverage of the new meningococcal ACWY vaccination is as high as 87 percent.

Bringing up the vaccination rate

The State Secretary of Health Welfare and Sport, Paul Blokhuis, wants to give all 16 and 17-year-olds the chance to get any missed NIP vaccinations. Around a tenth of the boys and half of the girls born in 2003 may be eligible for an extra vaccination in the year they turn 16. Of those born in 2003, 56.000 are not completely vaccinated according to the NIP and 4.000 have had no vaccinations at all. 

In order to gain “herd immunity” against measles, a vaccination rate of 95 percent is needed, according to the World Health Organisation, something which the Netherlands does not meet. The goal of the Global Vaccine Action Plan (GVAP) of a national vaccination rate of 90 percent for all individual vaccinations is however met, with the exception of HPV and meningococcal ACWY for adolescents.

The National Immunisation Programme

The NIP is as follows:

Age Injection 1 Injection 2
6-9 weeks Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough, Polio -Hib disease - Hepatitis B Pneumococcal disease
3 months Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough - Polio -Hib disease - Hepatitis B  
4 months Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough - Polio -Hib disease - Hepatitis B Pneumococcal disease
11 months Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough - Polio -Hib disease - Hepatitis B Pneumococcal disease
14 months Measles, Mumps, Rubella Meningococcal ACWY
4 years Diphtheria, Tetanus, Whooping cough, Polio  
9 years  Diphtheria, Tetanus, Polio Measles, Mumps, Rubella
12/ 13 years (girls only) Human Papillomavirus (HPV) HPV (6 months later)

For more information, see the RIVM website.

Mina

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Mina Solanki

Mina studied an MA in European Linguistics at the University of Groningen and has since worked as a translator, writer and editor. She loves to read and has a particular...

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