Daycare should be able to refuse non-vaccinated kids: VVD

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The drop in the childhood vaccination rate, and a spate of measles infections and whooping cough deaths, has led to renewed calls for compulsory vaccination for children who go to daycare in the Netherlands.

Now VVD MPs have re-tabled draft legislation which would allow daycare centres to refuse unvaccinated children if the vaccination rate for potentially serious childhood diseases such as measles falls below 90%.  This was already the case last year, figures from public health institute RIVM have shown.

The bill follows news of a new low in vaccination rate in The Hague, and the deaths of four babies from whooping cough. In Eindhoven the local health board has also reported 14 cases of measles.

“These are diseases that shouldn’t present major health problems,” RTL quoted VVD MP Sophie Hermans as saying. “That is why we have jabs. It is very worrying the vaccination rate is falling and I think we should do something about it.”

Compulsory vaccination is controversial and an earlier draft law proposed by SP and VVD in 2020 to make vaccination compulsory for children who go to daycare failed to win enough support. Now the VVD has dusted off that legislation for a second time – even though there is still no majority in parliament for the measure.

Despite a legal duty to admit unvaccinated children, many daycare centres already refuse to do so.

However, health junior minister Maarten van Ooijen said he did not favour a legal obligation and wanted more and better information from doctors for parents instead.

“People do not take kindly to politicians who want to force them to vaccinate their children,” he said. “What will have an effect is the advice of experts who talk to parents at mother and baby centres. It will cost time and energy but we will keep investing in this,” he said.

Measles, which can lead to serious impairments, and even death, is on the rise in Europe because of falling vaccination rates, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) has said.

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