Educating anti-vaxxers a new priority in the Netherlands
By Janene Pieters on November 17, 2016 - 09:30
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.
In the Netherlands 9 out of 10 children are vaccinated, a high percentage internationally considered. Still the RIVM noticed a growing number of parents wondering whether they should let their children participate in the national vaccination program. For the second year in a row, there was a decline in infants being vaccinated, and the vaccination rate in certain groups in society is remarkably low - in some reformed churches and private schools only about half of children are vaccinated.
The health institute describes vaccines as one of the greatest medical success stories of the past 50 years - viruses like polio no longer cause paralysis or death in Western countries, because they've been virtually eradicated in these countries. According to the RIVM, some 9 thousand children's lives have been saved since the Netherlands introduced its national vaccination program.
The RIVM plans to launch its digital additional training course for pediatricians in April. Participation is not compulsory.
Tags: vaccination, RIVM, government vaccination program, anti-vaccination, additional training program, pediatricians
Topics with scientific, medical or general health related information and discussion that is not specifically related to Lyme disease.
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Vaccination debate rages on, €2m allocated to answer parents’ questions
November 17, 2016
The public health institute RIVM is spending €2m on a campaign to get more parents to have their children vaccinated, amid growing concern that vaccination rates are falling.
Parents are increasingly questioning the need for vaccinations as diseases disappear from the radar and wrong or outdated information circulates on the internet, spokesman Hans van Vliet told broadcaster NOS.
Over nine in 10 children take part in the state vaccination programme, which runs from the age of 0 to 19. However, the take-up rate among newborns has fallen 0.5% for the past two years and is declining in fundamentalist Protestant and Free School communities, the RIVM says.
‘People have become more vocal and are less likely to take the word of experts,’ Van Vliet said. ‘We have to do more to convince worried parents and answer their questions properly.’
The Boink foundation, which represents parents whose children use organised daycare, wants to know if it is legally possible for crèches to refuse to accept children who have not been vaccinated.
That discussion started two years ago after an eight-month old baby became seriously ill with measles. The baby reportedly contracted the disease from a child who had deliberately not been vaccinated.
The baby’s mother Nicole Gommers believes daycare facilities should be allowed to refuse children who have not been vaccinated. ‘You should not be taking risks with extremely young children,’ she told the broadcaster.
During the Bible belt measles epidemic in 2013-14, one child died and 182 were hospitalised.