Parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated will be invited to explain their reasoning to youth health organisation JGZ in an effort to stop falling vaccine uptake, junior health minister Paul Blokhuis has announced.
The scheme is aimed at convincing parents to enter their children into the national vaccination programme by giving them ‘objective, scientific information’ about vaccinations.
‘Fortunately, most parents choose to have their children vaccinated. But there is a growing number of people who don’t. I’m taking their concerns very seriously and will do everything in my power to provide them with reliable information on which to base their decision,’ Blokhuis said. The junior minister emphasised that the decision to vaccinate or not remains entirely up to the parents.
At the moment 90.2% of Dutch children are vaccinated against potentially serious illnesses such as measles, polio and whooping cough. This is below the level of 95% the World Health Organisation considers safe.
Blokhuis says parents who think children should be able to develop a ‘natural’ immunity against disease, or who believe vaccinations cause autism, are victims of inaccurate information circulating particularly on social media.
Blokhuis also intends to approach youngsters who have not been vaccinated at all or who have only had some of the vaccinations. Once they are 16 they will be invited to have the vaccinations for free.
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