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.
Starting this coming weekend, all Dutch teenagers will receive an invitation to get a vaccination against Meningococcus in the year that they turn 14 years old. The reason for this is an increase in type W of the bacteria, which can also be dangerous to teenagers and young people, unlike the other types which are mainly dangerous to young children, RTL Nieuws reports.
The Dutch government will re-examine whether it is possible to allow daycare centers to refuse children who haven't been vaccinated. A parliamentary majority, led by the three largest government parties, supports this, RTL Nieuws reports.
"Childcare must be a safe place. I understand the concerns about decreasing vaccination, that also affects childcare", State Secretary Tamara van Ark of Social Affairs said on Twitter. "That is why I want to investigate possibilities for organizations to refuse childcare for non-vaccinated children."
Dutch doctors are drawing attention to the importance of vaccinating your children on social media. With the hashtag #ikvaccineer - I vaccinate in English - they are saying that their kids are vaccinated, with the reasons why.
This action was started by mother Maria Bos, according to RTL Nieuws. On Twitter she asked how she as a non-expert must determine what studies on vaccinations are reliable. Can't doctors simply say whether they are vaccinating their own children? Doctors responded massively to this request.
Last year 90.2 percent of 2-year-olds in the Netherlands got their vaccinations, 1,720 toddlers less than in 2016. Only 45 percent of girls were vaccinated against HPV, the virus that can cause cervical cancer, RTL Nieuws and NU.nl report based on the annual figures of public heath institute RIVM.
The Netherlands is heading for a record number of infections with the meningococcal bacterium type W, also known as meningitis. So far this year 57 people ended up in intensive care and 11 people died because of this bacterium, according to figures AD received from the national institute for public health RIVM.
Christian parties SGP and ChristenUnie are unimpressed by a comment posted on Twitter by SP alderman in Arnhem Gerrie Elfrink. The tweet was directed at the Kees van der Staaij avatar Elfrink is caring for on the Kamergotchi app. "Keesie I am God! If I forget to feed you, that's my wish! First be vaccinated, pervert", Elfrink tweeted.
A majority in parliament thinks that parents have the right to know if their kids are attending daycare with children and babies that haven't been vaccinated. Then parens can decide whether they want to take the risk of infectious disease or move theri child elsewhere, AD reports.
The PvdA, CDA, D66, GroenLinks and PVV all voted in favor of this proposal. They are concerned because fewer people are vaccinating their children.
Dutch national health institute RIVM is turning its attention on people who do not vaccinate their children. The institute launched an additional training program for peadiatricians and is making 2 million euros available for longer conversations with parents to ease their conserns about vaccinations, the Volkskrant reports.