Dutch vaccination rate up for first time in five years

For the first time in five years, the Netherlands’ national vaccination rate increased slightly, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health announced to parliament based on figures from public health institute RIVM.

The percentage of 2-year-olds who got their vaccinations according to schedule last year increased from 90.2 percent to 90.8 percent. Yet 4.4 percent of toddlers still haven’t had any vaccinations.

The coverage rate for the so-called BMR vaccination, for mumps, measles and rubella, increased by 0.7 percent compared to the same period last year to 93.6 percent. The coverage rate for the meningitis vaccination MenACWY increased by 0.6 percent to 93.2 percent. And the coverage of the HPV  vaccination against cervical cancer increased by 7.6 percent. 

Last year, all 16- and 17-year-olds who have not yet had the BMR and DKTP vaccinations, and all 16- and 17-year-old girls who have not had the HPV vaccination were invited to get these vaccinations. The turnout for the HPV vaccination was 20 percent. For BMR and DKTP it was 2 percent. There will be another invite for HPV catch-up vaccinations in the spring of next year.

“Vaccination is not only done for your own health, but also for the health of others. It is an act of charity,” Blokhuis said. “After years of decline, we saw a stabilization of the vaccination rate last year. It is really good news that the vaccination rate is now rising slightly. I feel strengthened to continue with the measures I took in 2018 to increase the number of children and young people vaccinated through the National Vaccination Program.”