Tuesday 20 August 2019

VVD leader slams ‘anti-vaxxers’, may back compulsory vaccinations

VVD parliamentary chairman Klaas Dijkhoff has suggested making vaccinations against childhood diseases compulsory now that the Netherlands has fallen under the 95% norm set for measles by the World Health Organisation.

Last year 90% of two year-olds in the Netherlands were vaccinated against measles. Dutch children are offered the multi-vaccination, which includes protection against mumps and rubella as well, at fourteen months and nine years old.

The WHO warned last week about a strong rise in cases of measles in Europe. In the Netherlands paediatricians and politicians alike have called on people to have their children vaccinated. Measles is highly contagious and can be life-threatening.

Some crèches are already taking action  by refusing to admit children who have not been vaccinated although this is against the rules, broadcaster RTL Nieuws reported. Both VVD and D66 are backing the unofficial crèche policy and there is cross party support for making vaccinations compulsory.

In a column on the VVD website Dijkhoff slams what he calls ‘anti-vaxxers’ who are taken in by ‘pseudo-scientific claptrap’ about the dangers of vaccinations, such as autism, which he says has been debunked.

However, Dijkhoff says his liberal principles are keeping him from a call for compulsory vaccination for the moment.

‘Let’s start by giving people more information. Their common sense needs shaking up. And, for the safety of our children, let’s make a big pr budget available (..) I hope that will get us upwards of the 95%. But if not I will have to call for compulsory vaccination,’ Dijkhoff writes in his column.

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