Public health agency RIVM says it is “concerned” about the decline in childhood vaccination after latest figures showed the take-up rate had dropped below 90%.
Just 84.2% of children born in 2020 were registered as fully vaccinated by the age of two, according to the RIVM’s own figures.
The agency said the true figure was probably higher because parents were recently given the right to opt out of registering their children’s vaccinations. Around 5% of jabs are not included on the child’s health record, the RIVM estimates.
Nevertheless, the figures continue a declining trend in vaccination against diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella. In 2018 the Netherlands dropped below the World Health Organization’s target level of 95% and has not recovered since.
In April a girl died of measles in the Radboudumc hospital in Nijmegen, the first confirmed death from the disease in the Netherlands for four years.
“A high vaccination rate is important to keep people protected against serious diseases and prevent outbreaks of these diseases,” the RIVM said.
“If the [95%] percentage is not achieved, it increases the chance of diseases like measles returning.”
The WHO said last year there was a high risk of measles outbreaks after an estimated 40 million children worldwide missed their measles vaccine during the coronavirus pandemic.
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