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National Immunisation Programme 2012: Yearly Review

Terugblik RVP 2012


Immunisation coverage
Each year RIVM announces its review of the developments within the National Immunisation Programme (NIP). In 2012, the reported immunisation coverage remained high and hardly deviated from the previous year. Depending on the type of immunisation and the target groups, the immunisation coverage varied between 92.6% and 99.3%, with the exception of the HPV-immunisation. In 2012, extra attention was paid to optimal timing of the immunisation schedule (that is according to the recommended NIP-timetable). Between 2006 and 2010, the percentage of children immunised according to the correct schedule increased from 77% to 85%. However it seems that fewer prematurely born children and children with a low birth weight were vaccinated at the optimal time. They are therefore at greater risk of infectious diseases that could have been prevented by timely immunisation. Pertussis is an important example of this.

The immunisation coverage for the HPV-immunisation is 56% for the cohort girls born 1997. This represents a small increase in coverage compared to the immunisation coverage of the cohorts who were born between 1993 and 1996 and who were vaccinated during the so-called catch-up campaign (52.3%).

Important events in 2012
One of the remarkable events during this year was a severe pertussis-epidemic, with over one and a half times as many cases as in the previous peak-year of 2008. Furthermore, there was an ongoing severe mumps-epidemic. These epidemics have been monitored closely and continuously by the NIP.

Since 2012, talks have been going on between the NIP and colleagues in Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. That year the Health Council had recommended that the NIP be expanded to include the Caribbean Netherlands. These islands are now being looked at to see whether a NIP similar to the one in the Netherlands can be offered, or whether specific adaptations are required. Organisation of the immunisation administration is included in this discussion.

Surveillance and research
This year, research has been done to assess different schedules of immunisation against pneumococcal infection, in order to assess whether children remain sufficiently protected with fewer vaccinations. Results are expected in 2013. Furthermore, research is being done to try and understand why the public either do or do not want to be vaccinated.

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