Baby vaccination rates declined in 2021; HPV vaccine use rising
The vaccination rate among babies decreased slightly last year, public health institute RIVM reported based on preliminary figures. But the turnout for the HPV vaccine increased by 6 percent.
Babies' participation in the MMR vaccine against mumps, measles, and rubella, and the DKTP vaccine against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, and polio decreased by 1 percent last year. According to the RIVM, the coronavirus measures may have played a role in this. Vaccination appointments may have been postponed as employees were needed elsewhere.
The pandemic did not seem to negatively affect the vaccine against HPV, the human papillomavirus, which can cause various forms of cancer. By January 2022, 70 percent of girls invited to get vaccinated against HPV got the shot. In 2021, it was 64 percent. From this year, both boys and girls will get vaccinated against HPV in the year that they turn 10.
So far, the pandemic seems to have had little impact on the national vaccination campaign, but the RIVM is still concerned. "In the Netherlands, we think it is important that children get a healthy start in life. Vaccinations against contagious diseases are part of this," said Jeanne-Marie Hament, program manager of the national vaccination program at the RIVM.
"The vaccinations have been extensively researched, are safe, and effective. We have proven that vaccinations can continue safely. Even during the coronavirus outbreak," Hament said. She urged parents to get their children vaccinated. The vaccines in the national vaccination program are free of charge.
The RIVM will publish the final figures on the national vaccination program in June.