A D66 proposal to give day care centres the right to refuse unvaccinated children has won majority support among MPs but the cabinet has doubts, broadcaster NOS reports.
Over a hundred day care centres are already banning unvaccinated children, NOS said last year on the basis of its own research. The new legislation, if approved by the senate, will give them the right to do so officially, and so avoid legal action by parents, NOS said.
The cabinet does not support the bill because it agrees with some doctors’ fears that a ban could cause a concentration of unvaccinated children at day care centres which do not require parents to vaccinate their children. Ministers say they will wait and see if the senate approves the plan and take it from there.
The D66 proposal stopped short of calling for compulsory vaccination although the cabinet said in October that it might consider the measure if vaccination uptake continues to fall.
The latest figures from health watchdog RIVM show a 94% uptake for the MMR triple vaccine against mumps, measles and rubella in 2019. This is an improvement on 2018 but still below the level of 95% the World Health Organisation considers safe.
The decision to ban unvaccinated children is part of a programme to promote vaccination which has been traditionally refused for religious reasons and, increasingly, for fear it leads to health conditions such as autism.
Meanwhile, a campaign by anti-vaxxer website Miss Natural Lifestyle encouraging pregnant women to refuse a vaccination against whooping cough in exchange for a food blender has been deemed ‘unacceptable’ by the advertising code commission.
The vaccine, which has recently been included in the national vaccination programme and is offered to women in their 22nd week of pregnancy, was branded ‘poison’ and ‘repulsive’ by the site.
It offered the first 100 women to commit to not having the vaccine a blender worth €399 in a joint promotion with the manufacturer.
The commission branded the campaign ‘unscientific’ and ‘a danger to public health’.
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