Young Dutch parents distrust information about vaccinations

Over a third of Dutch parents with young children do not trust information from the government about the need to get their children vaccinated, according to a study by EenVandaag among over 32 thousand people. Parents find information provided by public health institute RIVM incomplete and have doubts about institute's independence. Many young parents therefore go look for answers elsewhere, which often leads to more confusion and doubt, AD reports.

39 percent of parents with young children fully trust the information provided by the RIVM and 24 percent said they largely trust it. About 12 percent said they "don't really trust" the government institute and 24 percent said they don't trust the RIVM at all. The distrustful parents called RIVM information "one-sided" or said that the agency "withholds crucial information". One respondent said: "The disadvantages of vaccination must not be mentioned and people who claim vaccination damage are called crazy."

A little distrust of government institutions is not necessarily a bad thing, Hans van Vliet, director of the RIVM National Vaccination Program, said to the program. "We advise people to also speak with their GP or pediatrician in addition to the RIVM." According to him, the problem is that in the Netherlands there is "little information to find" outside that which the RIVM provides.

The researchers also found that 71 percent of Dutch want to make all vaccinations compulsory, compared to 57 percent last year. Young parents are less enthusiastic about such an obligation, with only 49 percent expressing support for it. There is also broad support for other far-reaching measures among Dutch. 82 percent think that daycares should be allowed to refuse un-vaccinated children. 61 percent want un-vaccinated children to only start school at age 5, when compulsory education stars.

Over 75 percent are in favor of implementing a compulsory vaccination consultation, such as in Germany. 55 percent think that the government should reduce child allowances if parents refuse to vaccinate their children, like Australia does. Half think that anti-vaxxers should not receive child benefits at all. 

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