Extra Vaccination Measles

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Certain groups of children will soon be invited to an extra vaccination against measles. That announced the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) on Monday.

The first group will be children between 6 and 14 months old, who live in a municipality where the vaccination against the disease, is below 90 percent. Also all Dutch babies in this age group, who live in areas where the people are strictly protestant, will be called for an extra vaccination. The RIVM will not send the parents of these children an invitation, but will try to reach them through their religious family papers and news papers.

Infants between 6 and 14 months are at greater risk than other children to get the disease. Babies under 6 months are naturally protected and normally get at the age of 14 months a measles vaccination.

Most children in the Netherlands are vaccinated against measles, but strict Protestants often don’t want to vaccinate their children because of their faith. That’s why the outbreak now occurs in regions where vaccination coverage is somewhat lower than average, the so-called Bible Belt. It is, according to the RIVM, likely that the disease will spread further in the coming period. The largest peak is expected after several months.

Since the outbreak began in late May, more than 100 people became ill.