Another 19 people who tested positive for coronavirus died in the Netherlands since Monday, Dutch public health agency RIVM announced. It brings the total number of fatalities in the coronavirus crisis to 43.
A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, support a D66 proposal to allow childcare centers to refuse children who have not been vaccinated. "This is very important for children and parents who can in this way make an informed choice," D66 parliamentarian Paul van Meenen said to RTL Nieuws.
The vaccination rate of girls against HPV - the virus that can cause cervical cancer - increased spectacularly last year. The vaccination of newborns against mumps, measles and rubella increased slightly for the first time in seven years, and after years of decline, the rate for the other vaccinations remained stable for the second year in a row, according to ongoing research into the National Vaccination Program by public health institute RIVM.
At least four children and one teacher at primary school De Vlieger in Schoonhoven have been diagnosed with Hepatitis A, school director Mireille Burema confirmed to Omroep West. To prevent the outbreak spreading further, municipal health service GGD Hollands Midden will vaccinate all 220 pupils and staff against the infectious disease.
GGD Hollands Midden advises parents who think their child might have Hepatitis A to go to their doctor for a blood test.
The measles virus can erase the memory of the immune system, meaning that the body loses all defense its built up against diseases through the years. Those who have had the measles are sometimes as defenseless against disease as a newborn child, scientists from Amsterdam UMC and Wllcome Sanger Institute in Cambridge wrote journal Science.
A D66 proposal to allow childcare organizations to refuse children who have not been vaccinated received support from a majority of Dutch parliamentarians. This is necessary "so you as parents can see where you can safely bring your child", D66 MP Rens Raemakers said, RTL Nieuws reports.
From 2021 boys in the Netherlands will also be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus virus (HPV), State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health announced on Friday. Currently only girls are vaccinated against this virus, which can cause cervical cancer.
The municipality of The Hague is launching a "plan of attack" to encourage its residents to vaccinate their children. "The current vaccination rate in The Hague is worrying", public health alderman Kavita Parbhudayal said to RTL Nieuws.
The number of infections with Meningococcus type W bacteria in the Netherlands is declining slightly, according to new figures from public health institute RIVM. The decrease can only partly be attributed by the new vaccination program for this bacteria among teenagers, Hans van Vliet, head of the RIVM's National Vaccination Program, said to NOS.
Wageningen University received a subsidy of 12.5 million euros to create a vaccine against the mosquito borne virus Rift Valley Fever that is safe for humans. The subsidy comes from the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI), NOS reports.
Parents are too free to decide whether or not to vaccinate their child, an investigative committee on childcare and vaccination said in a report on Monday. Participation in the National Vaccination Program should be made a condition for access to childcare, the committee advises. If this has no effect, the Dutch government should consider a "general vaccination obligation laid down by law", NU.nl reports.
The vaccination rate in the Netherlands remained stable last year, seeming to indicate that the declining trend over the past years is coming to an end, public health institute RIVM announced on Monday.
The municipality of Amsterdam and health institute GGD are putting extra effort into boosting the turnout for the meningococcus vaccination in the city on Thursday. Some 25 thousand teenagers were invited to be vaccinated at the RAI on Thursday. And to incite them into actually showing up, entertainment including BMX demonstrations and a kickboxing class presented by champions Fabio and Chico Kwasi was arranged, Het Parool reports.
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.
Children's rights organization KidsRights wants the government to make the vaccination against measles compulsory. According to chairman and former Children's Ombudsman Marc Dullaert, there is no other solution now that the vaccination rate dropped to 92.9 percent. "Mandatory vaccination seems inevitable", he said to the Volkskrant.
Childcare organization Berend Botje will refuse children who have not been vaccinated against mumps, measles and rubella. The Noord-Holland organization, which looks after over 3 thousand children, will also send un-vaccinated children who are already in its care away. According to the sector organization for childcare, over a hundred daycare centers already refuse unvaccinated children, but Berend Botje is the first to send existing customers away, NOS reports.
The Dutch government is launching an investigation into the advantages and disadvantages of an "overall vaccination obligation" to get the vaccination rate back up if it falls even lower, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health wrote in a letter to parliament. He called mandatory vaccinations the "extreme measure", RTL Nieuws reports.
Another child that attends a daycare center in The Hague was diagnosed with measles. That brings the total number of children with measles at the daycare up to four, GGD Haaglanden reported. The health service would not say which daycare center is involved, Omroep West reports.
So far this year, up until the start of April, there have been 15 cases of measles in the Netherlands. In previous years, the country counted between 10 and 20 measles diagnoses over the entire year, State Secretary Paul Blokhuis said in a letter to parliament. He blames the increase in diagnoses on outbreaks in various other European countries, AD reports.
Of the nearly 132 thousand Dutch 13- and 14-year-olds who were invited to get a free vaccination against the meningococcus bacteria in the autumn of 2018, around 18 thousand ignored the call. The national turnout percentage is 86.5 percent. The lowest turnout was in Zeeland and Amsterdam, only 72 to 77 percent of teens went to get vaccinated, AD reports based on figures from public health institute RIVM.
The Netherlands' national vaccination program works - some 450 children's lives are saved through it every year - but it is too limited. The Dutch government must include more infectious diseases in the national vaccination program, multiple vaccination experts said in advise to the Tweede Kamer, AD reports.
The Dutch Health Council wants the government to add the vaccination of 14-year-olds against Meningococcus C and W to the National Vaccination Program. The vaccination of 14 month old toddlers against the bacteria is already part of the national program, but the Health Council thinks that also vaccinating teenagers will add to group immunity, RTL Nieuws reports.
Youth care will soon approach parents who refuse to vaccinate their children to explain to them exactly why vaccination is important. In this way State Secretary Paul Blokhuis of Public Health wants to address the decreasing vaccination rate more actively, the Volkskrant reports.
Hospitals in the Netherlands are starting to prepare for this year's flu season. Should there be an epidemic, extra personnel and extra beds will be deployed to prevent the hospitals overflowing, and other patients having to be sent away, De Gelderlander reports after speaking to a number of hospitals.
Early this year the Radboud UMC, Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital and the Rijstate Hospital, among others, struggled to keep up with the number of flu patients needing help. This resulted in emergency rooms having to refer patients to other hospitals.