Wednesday 16 October 2019

Drop in vaccination take-up levels off but still below 95% target

The number of children being vaccinated has stopped falling, but the overall rate is still below the target figure of 95%, the public health body RIVM has reported.

Overall 90.2% of two-year-olds were up to date with their immunisation programme when the RIVM checked the records on March 5 this year.

The combination vaccine against Diptheria, Whooping Cough, Tetanus and Polio (DKTP) was given to 92.4% of children, down from 92.6% last year, while take-up of the meningococcal jab was stable at 92.6%.

The triple MMR jab against measles, mumps and rubella, which was the focus of a long-running disinformation campaign linking it to childhood autism, was given to 92.9% of children, the same number as a year ago.

Take-up of the HPV vaccine, which protects against cervical cancer, was unchanged for the second year in a row at 45.5%. The health advisory body Gezondheidsraad said recently that the jab should be offered to boys to improve the protection level and given to all nine-year-olds.

The Netherlands is a signatory to the World Health Organisation’s strategy to eradicate measles, which includes raising the take-up level to 95%, which is required for herd immunity.

Junior health minister Paul Blokhuis said it was good news that the drop in vaccination take-up appeared to have bottomed out, but the government still wanted to see the figure raised to 95%. He also commended local authorities for devising their own measures to raise the figure in their communities.

 

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